Sunday, March 23, 2008

I am so homesick for someplace I will never be

This city was all rich green and the dark, dark brown of moist, fresh earth. And then, as I remarked, as we wound our way through an epic walk around the water, such an expansive park, I do love granite cliffs. There were the requisite high-rises, all steel and glass. But oh it rained, and though it rained while I was there, the trees, however sparse in any particular neighborhoods, are so much prettier in that sort of weather. The greens are even richer and browns even darker. And the sound of gushing water like the rhythm guitar behind the raindrops playing the melody.

There were little things to love like this, things to swoon over even in a place you know you have no wish to live. There were not a million things to visit, and this time of year, it is raw and cold. I would not want to live there, I have to admit. I would not love it there for all of those perceived faults. But the things that I liked, I loved, and I suppose that was enough.

Not many others would choose it as a vacation destination, but it suited me just fine.

I came back with all kinds of intentions to write, with all kinds of intentions to do all sorts of things. Instead, in the few days I had left, I did other things, other things just as solitary. I'm really inside of my head these days, but yet, I haven't figured anything out. I have a feeling I have a confession to make, but I have no idea what it is I am on the verge of admitting.

How are you? he had asked, feeling, maybe for the first time in all the time we'd known each other, self-conscious of speaking so much about himself. But that's not why the question stunned me. The question stunned me because I had no answer beyond the false, the feigned. I can muster a fine, but what does that mean? I'm used to feeling misunderstood by other people, even my closest friends. I am not used to not knowing myself. It's not a problem of articulation these days.

I could tell what he wanted to say, that this whole thing had been a bad idea, had obviously thrown me into a tailspin. But maybe a tailspin is a normal reaction to the intensity, to the upheaval, to getting exactly what you want, and then wondering, what next?

At any rate, for now, I return. But I'll leave you with this exchange to show you it's not all dressing in black and reading Camus over here:

    me: It's a guilty pleasure, I know, but I have to admit that I really love Persuasion.
    SP: How is Persuasion a guilty pleasure? That's Jane Austen, it's classic literature.
    me: Come on, it's kind of a guilty pleasure.
    SP: Confessions of a Shopaholic, now that's a guilty pleasure.
    me: No, that's just guilty.

Well, at least SP thought it was funny.

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