One of the curiouser aspects of moving from Charlottesville to Blacksburg is that few people are likely to notice.
Everybody likes to think that, within their own sphere of influence, they are important. That if they were up up and disappear, the world might go on, but it would never be the same.
The thing is that the world doesn’t work like that. Most of us are important to these small groups as long as we’re visible, as long as we’re actually physically standing in front of somebody. Once we disappear from view, we’re gone, leaving few to ever ask, “say, what ever happened to her?”
I will move to Blacksburg early next month. I’ll visit Charlottesville every few weeks, here to see friends or conduct business. I’ll stay on the same Charlottesville mailing lists, I’ll write letters to the same newspapers, I’ll phone and e-mail the same friends and acquaintances for the same reasons as always. So my departure will go as unnoted as a birthday, my 19-month absence surely affecting nothing. When I return, I will point out to people that I have moved back to town, and they will scratch their heads and nod politely, wondering when I’d left and where I’d been.
We are all disposable. At least temporarily.