Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm never in one place, I roam from town to town

Greetings from beautiful New England. I have been doin' a little East Coast swing, starting with a less-than-18-hour stay in Philadelphia. Oh, and I did just quote Boys II Men b*tches... how are you going to deal with that (you have to picture me saying that to you with Ben Stiller karate-chop gesticulations for the words to have the desired effect)? The cool thing about the East Coast is that you can hit a lot of states in a short amount of time. The not-so-cool thing is that I've already visited these states many, many a time.

Still, today's drive to Vermont was a nice trip down memory lane. Peak foliage season has passed, so some of the trees, the birches especially, seemed to shiver, embarassed at the leaves they had recently shed. Still, the panoramic spans of hills and mountains, the tiny farm houses a mere speck against the pastures, all of it was a reminder of something I thought had ceased to exist. Then I got to town, and it was a reminder of everything I knew would continue in EBF- amongst these people, I would always feel apart, alone.

Growing up in EBF, I always knew this, innately. No one was particularly mean today; only a few were particularly malicious when I was younger. It is a reaction to an unknown quantity. When I was younger, I was acutely aware that my actions were shaping people's feelings towards an entire population. That is probably why I was overly polite when I was young, why I took everything so seriously. But it's funny that, even after all of these years, put me into a Norman Rockwell downtown and I revert to the same habits- more judicious driving, the extra smile, the self-censorship.

The most absurd part of all these wasted efforts is this: in the end, what this gets you is not acceptance, but invisibility. If you are meek and affable and polite, you simply blend into the background. In some ways, I guess that is what I was going for. In other ways, it has a strange effect of making me wonder if I am really here, if I really do exist.

Anyway, I have also been thinking, and I think it's time that I need to get back to basics, guess I'll start it up again. Dudes, I have to tell you that it has been a rough couple of months. I have lost some friends, and have had some general instability and awkwardness among people I was previously close to. Some of it is natural and unavoidable. But I have figured out some things, as a result of all of this upheaval.

First, this space needs to change a little. I've always boasted about the way this blog is not for you, but even as a personal venting space, I think it's unnecessary for me to rant and rave the way I have for the past several months. Even though I was vomiting all over my co-worker's Organizational Development-speak about finger-pointing (i.e. the whole "when you point at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you" zen speech), it is true that I need to turn inward again. When I do that, I can start determining what about myself I want to change and how I can go about doing it. I have always wanted to be someone who doesn't get lazy, who doesn't give up and shrug off my shortcomings with the excuse of what I am is what I am. So, the blog needs to get a little kinder and gentler, and it needs to get its brain back. The latter requirement could take a while, judging from my current mental state, though.

Second, I have been watching my parents the past few days and I am reminded of something I want again. I had it for a while, I dispensed with it when I moved to San Francisco, and now I want it again. My parents have this bizarre social life that I can't compete with- they're far more popular and socially active than I could ever be. But what I absolutely adore about being at home is that there is a constant stream of visitors to our house. Yesterday, one masi visited at 11:30 a.m., dressed in a frighteningly bright orange salwar (for Halloween, she explained). My parents and I went for a brief walk around the neighborhood afterwards. When we got back, my other masi and masa showed up and spent the next few hours chatting with us. My parents and I then went out for dinner. When we got back, my mom's cousin, B masi, arrived with her husband. Here, I must veer off course to note that my masi's husband, J masa may well be insane. My father served him a Michelob Lite, and J masa sent it back, sticking out his tongue in displeasure. Then he yelled at my father for fixing B masi a G&T, complaining "you favor her over me." Then he offered to take me out for a margarita upon my return to EBF tomorrow. So. Anyway, they left at 10 p.m. After that, we got a phone call from another friend of the family. He & his wife showed up at 10:45, and stayed until midnight.

Now, I'm not saying I want a cavalcade of visitors every weekend, especially on Sundays, the day I usually want the most solitude. But I do like the notion of people feeling comfortable stopping by my place at any old time; I like the idea of people having no occasion to visit, but visiting anyway. And even though I know my time in San Francisco is limited, I have not given up on making my little crack shack just such a place. To achieve this task though, I need to do three things at the very least:
  • Clean the forsaken crack shack and keep it tidy enough that surprise visitors could pop in at any time.
  • Keep my cell phone nearby and actually pick up my cell phone when people call (maisnon is somewhere yelling "um, thank you!" right now in response to this, I suspect).
  • Start inviting people over for random things, like brunches. I used to do this some time back, but The Goal kept me from having the ability to continue.

I am not sorry about losing the friends I have lost. And I am not really regretful that I have not done any of these things sooner. I have had to make sacrifices in the name of what I have really wanted. But I want to appreciate the time I have left in San Francisco, and I want to appreciate the people I have met in San Francisco for the time I have left in the city. Okay, this is starting to sound like a eugoogaly, but I think you get my drift.

In other news, I still have not figured out where I am telling everyone to meet for my birthday. I am angling for a low key evening, as long as the flow of Grey Goose is not constrained.

p.s. My dad told me his favorite show is Dr. Phil. I think we are going to have a battle royale about this when I return home tomorrow since I made my patented channeling my teenage years look of utter disgust when he revealed this to me.

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