Water exhibits three distinct phases: solid (as ice), liquid (as, well, liquid water), and gas (as vapor, like fog). The solid phase doesn't move much, it just kind of hangs around where it is. Water, has more energy and movement. It slithers around on the ground following contours and curves and goes places. Vapor is the most robust and free. Not bound by the pull of gravity to the extent that water and ice are: it flies and blows with the wind, moving through three dimensions. It goes everywhere and anywhere, unconstrained, unfettered and free.
Typically, phase changes move from solid to liquid to gas, to liquid to solid, based on temperature and pressure. Sometimes, through a process called sublimation, solid ice can transition directly from solid to gas, but that's significantly less common than the more pedestrian two-step tango to get there. Alright, now that everyone has a basic understanding of phase changes, I can only imagine Dear Reader, you are wondering, what the fuck does this have to do with, well anything in anyone's life - unless that person is a physicist?
I view my life back in Carson as me being ice. I was pretty immobile in the grand scheme, but I would occasionally "sublimate" to vapor and take off to an exotic location, only to change back pretty quickly upon return. But, mostly, I hung close, and didn't go much of anywhere. When, a month ago, I left the area for the road-trip portion, I converted to water; stuck to the ground and flowing hither and thither to different parts of the western USA. I still got around – I logged about 3500 miles on the road – but I was limited to the ground, so, yeah, I was of the water phase.
That portion of the Great Transition™ is now complete that I divested myself of my car. For the first time in forty years, I no longer own a car. That feels...weird. PHTEVEN is no longer. Not that many understood the meaning of that license plate, but I got the occasional knowing look.
Without a car, I am at the mercy of friends, family and public transit. In the western USA, that means I am at the mercy of friends and family. Public transport? HAHAHA! In just a few days, I go full vapor and hop a jet outta here. Phase change, indeed.
Side note: in this last week of residency in the west, I may have met a unicorn. Of course I did. NOW. Right when I am leaving. But, if I wasn't on this trajectory, would we have met at all?