Because I don't go to mum's place any more my world has shrunk. I never go down that direction now. I go instead only to the shops, which are located in the opposite direction from mum's place. I go to the shops to buy food and alcohol, to get my lunch at the cafe where I always get my lunch, and to check the post office box for mail. The shops are down toward the ocean. You can't hear the waves from the shopping centre but most nights if the night is still you can hear the waves from my bedroom. I lie awake waiting to go to sleep and the sound of the waves keeps me company.
It's true I am lonely. I often have a chat with the person serving in the shop, whether it is the cafe where I have my breakfast, the cafe where I buy my lunch, or the fruit and vege shop across the road from them. Yesterday the woman in the fruit and vege shop even remembered that I was relocating and she asked me about it.
I get what I think are slightly strange looks from locals when I tell them I am relocating to Sydney. It's as though they are calculating how loyal I had been to the local area prior to the confession. I wonder if people think there's something wrong with me, that I have to go back to the big smoke. I wonder if they are secretly envious. I wonder if they are critical. I wonder a lot of things.
One thing I don't have to wonder about is the sense of separation. It is permanent now. I used to feel it sometimes when I walked down the street to mum's to cook dinner. I used to also feel it when I drove down the highway to the capital sometimes, this feeling of separation. It's a feeling that resides in the chest or upper stomach. It is an ache. It is always there nowadays. I feel it when I get up in the morning.
But I wonder if it will go away once I have relocated to Sydney. Will I be made whole again? What kind of person will I be in Sydney now that I have spent the best part of six years up here on the Coast? Will I be a better person? Will I be more patient? Will I be a better friend? Will I have more fortitude? Will I be happier? I have no way of knowing. All I can do is take the steps I need to take to get to where the tracks separate, and then take the final step to make the switch. One foot after the other. One step at a time.