The Shire has meant a lot to me. Having affordable housing was a huge improvement to my life after paying 82% of my income in rent that didn't include any utilities. I fought to get here, and fought to come back here after Irene flooded us out. Though I never got chummy with neighbors or became a porch monkey, it's been a refuge. I wrote a book here, and worked on 2 more. It was quiet enough to keep whatever hours I wanted, most of the time. It's a pretty place. I'm sorry it will be demolished when all's said and done.
These rooms have seen laughter and parties, guests and family, pets and children, holidays, deaths, love, pain, celebrations and mourning. Many late night conversations, tons of food cooked, meetings and projects launched, all happened here. Strangely, it looks smaller with everything gone, and sad. Like it's withdrawing into itself, or the past. Now it'll be cleaned and painted for whoever will be here for the 3 years til the final closing. And they'll make memories, and hopefully remember this place fondly.
I've already heard that the new place is noisier, that the police locks are on the doors for a reason, that the laundry and community rooms have locks and security features because of drug dealers. That's public housing for you, but I lived a decade in Hell's Kitchen during the crack epidemic. It can't be worse than that. I laugh when people call this town BrattleBronx. They have no clue.
So this is the last post from Hobbiton. Farewell to the roses and hyacinths, the daffies and bleeding hearts and tulips in the garden that's no longer mine. Farewell also to the neighbors I've seen, avoided, and waved to for these last 5 and a half years, as we all go separate ways. Bittersweet, yes. But I have to go.
- The Road goes ever on and on
- Out from the door where it began.
- Now far ahead the Road has gone,
- Let others follow it who can!
- Let them a journey new begin,
- But I at last with weary feet
- Will turn towards the lighted inn,
- My evening-rest and sleep to meet.