We’re at Gate B22 at Denver International, waiting to Board United 996 nonstop to Boston. The Yorkie Claire made it through security, as did my carry-on bag full of cables, Kindles, converters, videocams, SD card readers, and dongles of every description. The guy reading the X-Ray seemed fascinated, cocking his head at different angles as he examined the tangle of gear. I was surprised when my bag glided past him without a request for me to open it.
My wife’s quilting habit is a lot less portable than podcasting and social media. We checked two huge bags for her, filled with fabric and I don’t know what else — needles? We’re gradually setting up clothing and supplies at each home, so there’s no need to bring the usual stuff for a six-month sojourn.
Living in two different cities, six months at a time, is like leading parallel lives. My wife says I’m a different guy in Denver than I am in Cambridge, Mass. It’s more difficult to perceive the difference from inside myself, but I can sense what she means. One big difference is that my roots are in the East. I grew up in Wayland, Mass., went to high school in Belmont, and attended college and graduate school in Cambridge. But when I was 30 I moved to Casper, Wyoming, to take a job starting an energy magazine. I was full of “Go West, Young Man” fervor, and I completely fell in love with Wyoming. My wife and I met there and lived at the foot of Casper Mountain until 2000, when we moved to downtown Denver. All my adventures in Wyoming and Colorado have been of my own making, for good and sometimes ill.
But even in my cowboy boots and Stetson phase, New England was never far from me. And now the lure of a grandson and the joy of reconnecting with parents, sister, daughters, and other extended family make our time in Cambridge a delight.
In each place, there is a shadow life lived by email, phone, and some video chats. Condo association work gets done at a distance from Cambridge, and family stuff gets done remotely from Denver.
Boarding begins. The show heads East. Long live the show…