You might also think that finally spending three years in one place would have allowed me to become properly acquainted with this place, with more than a tourist’s knowledge, but actually, it seems to be my departure, set for the near future, that gives the town its placehood.
The neighborhood is no longer invisible and unbearable, no longer induces claustrophobia, it has become a tidy substance that I can even value, because I know I will be leaving. One of my first, vague and unrealized projects here was to complain to local businesses for leaving interior lights on unnecessarily, long after closing for the evening. The perspective of leaving allows me to instead think of the shop-owners more graciously and grant that their lights at least make it possible to take a photo of South Street in the middle of the night.
There are different ways and degrees of settling down. I have usually been wary of them, perhaps out of ignorance.
We've heard the cliché about an object that could tell its story.