It’s almost time for me to go. Bellingham is running out of time and I am running out on Bellingham. My darling husband will be pursuing a career in marine engineering which will relocate us near Vallejo, California. I came here from the bay area, so when he told me he was accepted to Cal Maritime I was stoked. California is my home. I’m not ruling out the possibility of returning to this community later in life but I can tell you for certain that right now, right here is not my place to be.
I’m starting to tally my “lasts” and check things off the “Bellingham Bucket List”. I just had my last scrimmage. I finally went camping on Orcas Island. We are driving away 12 days from now, which gives me little anxiety attacks when I think of things like my last bout with my team or the last time I go bowling downtown. When my then-boyfriend and I rented a truck and moved into this apartment three years ago we hesitated signing a 12 month lease. We are vagabonds (a former room mate referred to me as the “consummate vagabond” because I never unpacked and slept in my sleeping bag for months before buying a comforter). Could we commit to one full year? We had to. So we did. Then we renewed it. Then we got engaged. Then I started playing roller derby. We renewed the lease again. We got married. Another renewal… and now, at long last, the departure.
My team knew I would split before the championship bout, I go to Alaska and kill fish for a living. This time I won’t come back though. Right now I have one game left with the Cog Blockers and one more with Blunt Force Trauma. Then it’s “Thanks Roller Betties, I’m taking everything I learned and maybe I’ll skate against you one day”. It is my intention to go play with B.A.D. girls. I really look forward to skating with new ladies, being watched with fresh eyes and getting some new feedback. I’ve become comfortable here and I don’t think I’m trying as hard as I could. Actually, I know I’m not. Time to kick the tires and light the fire!
I’ve been spending quality time with skaters who I’ve always really liked, but never made dates with. When Mr. Fever and I met we were both full time fishermen and went 2-4 months apart followed by 3 weeks-2 months together – year round. We have yet to graduate from that phase where every moment together is crucial, and as a result, I don’t spend a lot of time with other people. However now that I’m moving I find myself getting tattooed with my co-captain and going for long walks in the park with one of my fiercest competitors. And I’m not done! I’m trying to make arrangements with girls who I am deeply happy to have met, even though we only share time in committee meetings. Geez, what’s wrong with me?
I am moving away from a geographical place where some significant experiences took place. Domestication (I own furniture!), roller derby (I am passionate!), marriage (I have unquestionably found my life-mate!) and the realization of the imminent future (oh shit, I need to save money?!). Often I say “I’m like a real person”. What I mean is, I’m acting like an adult woman who owns her own couch, cooks out of Martha Stewart Daily Living, and pays taxes! This time five years ago I was living in the woods and hitch-hiking about for supplies. Literally. I’ve come a long way (or digressed – that is totally up for discussion). This time, when we move we are looking at the future and not just a place to sleep for a little bit.
Bellingham, I will cherish these last 12 days and I promise to forget all the bad things I ever said about you. I know you won’t miss me, but I hope from time to time you see or hear something that makes you think of Cat Scrap Fever. Even if it’s just that damn song on KISM.