Monday, August 06, 2007

in this world of plenty it is easy to forget

I can say with some confidence that I will never wax romantic about my current place of residence in the way that I mooned over San Francisco. The strange thing is that I haven't felt the slightest inclination to visit San Francisco since returning to the west coast. It's as if I can't imagine experiencing that city as a visitor anymore, and so would just assume keep my distance.

But until now, all I had really done was complain about the blistering, sunstroke-provoking heat here and that was about it. As some structure slowly starts to creep back into my life, so do the words. I'm normalizing (as much as I ever can). There's still a lot going on, but I know I will not survive it if I get so frenzied that I can't carve out a bit of something of my own.

This is the thing about medical school and perhaps other professional degree programs- while the programs love to profess their great attraction to individualism and are looking for people that have set themselves apart in some way, the program focuses on trying to mold you into exactly who they think everyone ought to be once you begin. Some of that is undoubtedly necessary, but my gut reaction is to always, always balk when pushed or prodded into a different state of being.

But that's because there has been some intense togetherness the past few days, so intense that I really didn't get a single moment alone until Sunday. Granted, intense togetherness is likely going to be a hallmark of school, but this was exaggerated. Sunday, however, I did get a little time to myself and it was delicious. Delicious. Yes, that is exactly the word for it.

Delicious. Because I'm never going to love this town. But I've already found the things I need to get by. I scoped out a few independent record stores, the Trader Joe's, and places I could get to by foot. Yesterday morning, I ferreted out a farmer's market and as I walked by the stalls, I involuntarily remarked to SP (who was visiting), "oh, it's going to be just fine here."

San Francisco has everything and it's easy to get lost in that. The interesting thing about resettling somewhere less perfect is realizing what is essential for you at a particular point in life. For me, I realized yesterday that I have the things I need here. I admired the fresh (and reasonably priced) produce and fruit yesterday, and did something I find incredibly luxurious- washed my clothes in my very own washing machine inside my apartment unit. My standards might sound low, but I realized in that moment yesterday that I was going to be happy here. And then, after today, which is best left for another post, I was even more certain of that.


Hey look at this though- I did get my act together, sorted out my technical issues and managed to get a song up this week. I decided to go all the way old school, but it still fits, in a way. Even though the people I spend most of my time with these days have probably never even heard of XTC, I remain steadfast in my conviction that this song is up there in the musical canon. Besides which, I do feel like my senses are working overtime at the moment, not because I've been floored by work, but because of the bizarre environment and the way I'm slowly further defining myself among my strangers. If there was ever a band for such oddballs as me, it's XTC, after all.

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