As an introverted and shy person, moving around affords me the ability to take chances- and make changes to my life that I wouldn’t otherwise make if I were tethered down by expectations and worries. The last few months in an old space and the first few months in a new space are some of the most free times in my life. I am able to get involved in ways I never thought possible; try out new identities, join new communities and speak up.
A few weeks before moving out of town, my boyfriend Carp and I held a potluck for the friends we had met in Kansas City along the way. My friends Diana and Anna were the first ones to show up. Diana is someone that I have known since fourth grade- when I passed her a note asking her to be my friend. Diana and I have enjoyed Kansas City’s night life and theater. We have endlessly enjoyed silently watching my cat, and her dog together. We have watched movies and ate cherries at her apartment, and walked to the Women’s March with protest signs together from mine.
I met Anna last year while working in refugee resettlement, and she is one of my closest new friends in the area. Anna is also good friends with Carp, and they do “six pack shuffles” together on weeknights, which includes biking around and drinking beer. Anna brought a stack of pictures from our time in the city together.
My boyfriend and I’s mutual friend, Clint, arrived soon after, with homemade tabbouleh from his community garden in Colombia. Clint and I met while camping out in the Oregonian temperate rain forest together for a few months. Carp and Clint met while smoking cigarettes outside a gas station in California.
Spicy homemade pickles from 2015 were brought by Matt, along with beer and his gentle presence and he left with a rolling pin and a broken bike bell. Many bags of tortilla chips, homemade salsa, guacamole from a plastic bag and hummus. Joe brought a tub full of beer and ice and posted up in the living room with three of his friends he brought along. Ben brought a desert salad with cranberries, spinach, apples and vinaigrette and left with Michelle Foucault’s “Discipline and Punishment.”
Out on the porch, our slightly conservative biker friend tells Carp he told all his friends who are here that we are hippies, and they are here for the show. One of them asked him in confidence when they were outside smoking on the porch, “Do they all live here?” Referring to the core group of six of us who were all sitting on the floor when they arrived.
Walking to the bar with Anna and Diana, Anna was saying she was sad to see me go. I got Diana to back me up, “I always come back, right Diana?”
At the bar we met up with my newest friend in Kansas City, who happens to be a badass feminist working to bring down capitalism. She starts her new job working as a music therapist at a prison this week, and I am looking forward to hearing about her experiences.
My friend Amanda showed up, who has recently returned from six months in southeast Asia. She was the only one who was happy to see us leaving- a fellow traveler herself, she understood the excitement of continual movement.
As the bar was closing down, Diana got her deck of taro cards out and read our futures. A nearby wedding party ended, and they shared chocolate cake with us that turned everyone’s mouths blue from the icing. Back at home I made hashbrowns with jalepaneos and shared them with Anna.
Clint ended up spending the night, and the next morning we had coffee together and caught up with each other since we didn’t really get a chance to talk the night before. I loaded him up with Tulsi tea (to help him see clearer from his third eye), fenugreek for natural deodorant and he also grabbed our protest sign “Refugees and Immigrants Welcome” to put in his window. It was nice to have Clint at our going away party, because he was at the last one we had two years ago when we all left California. Seeing him was a good reminder that saying goodbye is never a permanent thing, and also how beautiful it is to know people from all corners of the Earth who you can share hippie recipes with.
Cheers to Kansas City- it’s been a hell of a two years. This city and the people in it have helped me find myself in a way that I didn’t even conceive of before. I’m really sad to be leaving, but I feel that my time here was well spent. I am so happy that I got to spend some beautiful time in this city with my family and friends.
Now let’s try out New York. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, Kansas City.
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