With much huffing and puffing and packing and stacking yesterday, I helped Amy and her folks vacate her Baltimore apartment and stuff the remnants of her college life — and several galleries’ worth of her exquisite painting and drawing work — into two minivans and a U-Haul trailer. By 6pm, I was waving goodbye to her as she left for home, in regions farther north, while I hopped on a train heading home south. With me, some of her moving leftovers: a pot of catnip for Pandora, a yellow watering can for the “troops,” and a hauntingly beautiful multiple-exposure full-length figure portrait in ink wash.

It was not the pained, tearful parting I thought it would be. We have many modes of communication open to us, after all: text messaging, phones, email, instant messaging, “mail,” and as my mom tells me, “Paulo, DC to NJ is hardly long distance.” Above all that, there was the faithful certainty that at the end of her MFA, the parting would be ended.

So obviously I’ll be visiting New Jersey a lot for the next two years or so. And points around and in between. Definitely this is impetus for me to finally get my license.