Aug 9th, 2009
I am home. But it is not home.
There is my bed. My desk. My bookshelf; books. My small DVD stack. My towels and soap. My posters adorn the walls, and pictures too. They all belong to me but they don’t belong here, or maybe I don’t. It feels like I don’t belong to myself. Or maybe I am a different person, divided not by a hazing line of changing moods and clothing but a break and beginning; a paragraph. Period. Enter key. New paragraph.
This is now a life forgotten. I was here. I feel that now, and it feels remorseful. I miss what is no longer me, or mine. Even though I am here in it I can not be apart of it. I'm behind a fence at a zoo; the animals are only to be viewed. I am a fish in an ocean, both connected and separated by enveloping waters with tides that keep me away. I miss the buses that pass me by. I miss the roommate who right now sits at his desk watching on-line videos. I miss eating out and discovering new restaurants while I went somewhere new for dinner this very evening. And as I check off things left undone I also come closer to closing my connection with the city. The living bond I fed so much time into that will one day die by either prolonged separation or the fulfillment of all things once wished. The familiar streets are now only that. They aren’t as they are, or were.
The anticipation of returning is nearly trampled by feeling alien, unable to decipher the current codes of conduct so recently I had kept up on. There is also the frenzy of trying to catch up and get a foothold that would put me here again, in full life and color and mind. But even if that were to happen, that life and mind would soon be split again, and new energy would be called for in the pursuit of another new incorporation, and this time with expectation.
Coming here had only hope. Of a job. Of a career. Of pursuing what in school had given me so much joy. Of a life I couldn’t begin to imagine. The city was mysterious and unknown, except for tales of its iniquity and danger, by which I quickened my steps all the more. But where I go is known. It is calculated and has a value with little room for deviation. I know why I am there, for how long, and why it was the good choice. I have family and friends that surround me and life is more certain. And in that certainty I lose it in myself. I don’t want to lose the mystery and hope. The excitement life offered. The way ahead has a map, while I like taking what hasn’t been routed. Miles that haven’t been counted.
Having moved all my things for the past five years, after only one the sixth time shouldn’t uproot with as much pain but this one hurts nearly as bad as the first when I left home. That one smoldered under the floor boards. But the boards have been removed and the the foundations are observed and the sight of its workings brings the feeling of being awake during surgery: the knowledge of it only fixes your attention while no amount of intent will let you change the coarse of events. I am beginning to wonder where my home is. When I first moved away I defined it as the place I grew up, but this place (my third home) was to be it for the next many years, and its time was cut short. And with the next runner coming, the place I grew up is getting farther and farther behind to where I’m not sure it still holds a winning chance. Not being here or there and not wanting to leave here for the there that I tide toward, I float, or flounder. Aimless in the night.
So what am I to do now in the short time I occupy this time and space only physically? Do I exert a force upon it hoping to step into its dimension? Do I run in and run back out with all I have to never think twice? It might save my sanity, and keep me from regret and the knowledge of what I will be leaving, but that is a betrayal to the person I see, and know, who had once lived here; the person who was once me, and I him. I must be here in the most profound way possible and then leave with as much as is respectful. I must also know that the tides have a bit of providence in them, and that in them lie the hope I fix on this place. While the tidings bring me to a place I think I know too well there are still things to look forward to and to work towards. And while those are unlike the ones I worked here, those lines may one day reopen, in part or in full. We should know the tide doesn’t go in one direction indefinitely, but back and forth and around the downs at dawn to see new sunrises; the birth of more things to come.