Reaching the end of a road is not always the best but today I took my final steps on one I’ve been on for years.

After almost five (we began in 2019 after dating for a while), my wife and I completed the initial stages of bringing me to the United States from Canada. I have been granted permanent residency, will become a U.S. citizen by 2025 (barring chaos or unexpected nonsense) and think my blood pressure and weight have dropped by the hours since a nice fellow in Minneapolis interviewed us about our life together and how we operate each day.

Because, to be frank, the experience was nothing short of insane. Between the pandemic, forms with more confusion than a Howard Hawks movie made in collaboration with Stanley Kubrick and the general stress of figuring out how to move with my stuff and my beloved dog during a time of border closures and general travel restrictions, I wonder how I made it through to be writing this from a nice Airbnb location on a cold evening.

Then, I think of her, relatives and friends and the rest is easy.

To my wife, I love you more than I have before and will always try to increase this feeling as time goes on. Each day we spend in each other’s company is a gift. I am in awe of your kindness, humor, flexibility, willingness to try new things and still question how a goober like myself managed to end up with someone so profoundly special.

To my wife’s family, thank you for taking a look at myself and thinking I am good enough. Seeing someone you’ve spent years with find their significant other is never easy and meeting me when I first started out with her understandably could have caused some hesitation. Artists are not normal people, after all, but I have never felt unwelcome here and suspect I never really will as the days fold into weeks and weeks turn to years and decades.

Finally, I want to address my friends. So many of you stood with me through the dark moments it took to get this. There were times I was high-strung, a total prick and to be frank deserved what I got when many no longer in my life broke off contact and communication. I earned it. Anyone behaving in such a way does. However, so many were always there as a shoulder to cry on, vent to in the wee hours and as material support. There were friends forged in the virtual fires of youthful online gaming, two foul-mouthed versions of Jesse and Joey from Full House, female friends tough enough to make a tyrant turn tail and run and my infamously handsome Mexican brother.

God bless you all and hey, God bless the United States.

Next stop Congress? We’ll see.

Evan J. Pretzer – Legal Permanent Resident

11:20 p.m. – Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.

Top image via Wikimedia Commons

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