“You’re not leaving already, are you?”

Last night at my PlayGroup writers’ meeting I let slip I would be giving up my Brooklyn apartment when its lease runs out at the end of August, and returning to Sydney shortly thereafter (quick side trip to Europe in September). I was taken aback by how upset these lovely people were – I only see them once a month, at most – that I was leaving so soon.

I met these women at the playwrights’ course I took when I first came to New York in early 2006. They joked last night that it fascinates them how many people I seem to know here, how much I have crammed into my time here already, and how I always seem to be going out. I laughed, because I often feel like I’m doing next to nothing, although I know that’s an exaggeration of my own warped kind.

“We’re going to hatch some plans to keep you here,” they told me. We’ve been tossing around doing a staged reading for a few friends of the things we’ve been writing – a theatrical adventure that up til now has been a threat rather than a promise. But it turns out we have a few potential venues, so who knows what the summer will bring?

“Well, you’re going to have to battle with my family and friends who often tell me how many months it is before I come home,” I replied.

“Maybe they can move to LA,” one suggested.

“Never!” I replied with mock outrage. “That means I’d have to go there to visit them.”

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