Turnaround two-step

A: A friend of mine asked me a question the other day. I think he wanted to know: was I happy? but for me, he put things in an interesting light. He said, I thought travel was the thing you loved most of everything. I thought you couldn’t live without it. And yet you’ve stayed here, in the same town, hardly leaving, for four years. You’ve made two cross-town moves but you live in basically the same way. And he was right in a way I don’t think he understood. Because what I love is the regular day-to-day. It’s the regular habits and routine I fall into, that is where my heart is, no matter how simple or homely it is. What I call travel, and I do love it, is just another way of enjoying a routine. It’s the same regularity and familiarity and warmth, renewed and refreshed by exposure to different places and different pressures. It’s a small kind of variety, but it’s the sort that suits me. I wouldn’t like the life on the road and the kind of life that would never show the same face twice, the life of the visitor on the surface. It’s the life of a resident for me.

B: My taste is different. I can’t stand to be still. I have to be going somewhere, on the road to something. I can’t abide the thought that tomorrow will be another today. Only I don’t have to change very much to make that so. I take a new route for a week between the same two points, and I watch the progress of the days across that route in their light and shadow, and in the change my week feels as long as a month. Or I make a change in my diet, and I feel the ripples of the change go up and down and across my body, stretched out laterally in time. The same city is endlessly different, even after its general shape is familiar, a slight shift in attention in a detail can make a total revaluation of the whole.

A: So fundamentally, we agree.

B: Absolutely not, I couldn’t imagine two people holding more different points of view! Given, that is, that they believe the same thing, as we do.