Sunday, September 2, 2007
Tramp, keep on a-trampin'
Today I’ve been home for 2 months.
Yesterday, I sat outside and remembered what it was like, the first time I returned home. Not when I returned 2 months ago, but 3 months ago, to visit. The first time I’d been home in over a year, and how strange and perfectly normal everything seemed all at once. Memories like that don’t strike me when I call to them. They come unbidden, disorienting my thoughts and concentration. Coming home that first night held several currents of emotion for me, particularly in my side yard where no side yard had been when I left for the Philippines. This made the yard something of an oddity – the rest of my house seemed more or less how I had left it, as did the people. I think a lack of evidence had my subconscious mind convinced that I had never really left. Peace Corps was no more real an adventure than Dorothy had, only I had aswang (mythical flying bat people) instead of flying monkeys, and malaria prophylaxis instead of ruby slippers.
Yet here, this side yard was bothersome. It poked a glaring hole in the “the last year an a half didn’t happen” theory my brain was espousing. A nagging thought was gradually shoving upwards into my consciousness: This new house resembled the home I’d left, but could not be mistaken for the same place.
And last night, in the side yard, that feeling of having returned home but also to a somehow strange place trickled through me again. Memories of that first night tugged at me, begging for attention. It was only 2 months ago guys, what’s so urgent?
Since the last time anyone’s read anything here, a lot has happened. I went down south to North Carolina to stay with my brother and cousins in my grandma Joan’s beach house for a few days, and naturally I had a great time catching up with family. I hadn’t seen grandma for a matter of years (she’s been busy being MAYOR!!! And the rest of us have been busy being losers and living far far away), and of course I haven’t spent time with my cousins or aunt in a while.
Then I helped David move up to the UK. That was a fun trip, one which began with some sort of bird (perhaps a vulture or raven) trying to either dive bomb or land on our car as we sped along on a busy interstate.* I’d never been to Kentucky before, but I will say this: they have plentiful horse statues, voluminous sacks of rice, and overwhelming walmarts. And, seemingly out of left field, the fortunate man has an Irish-style pub within walking distance of his house. I can only assume the UK placed it there out of respect and anticipation of his arrival.
I’m not sure what to say about Lexington, Kentucky. I have a feeling, like many college towns, it’s different now that college is in session. When I was there, it was, for all intents and purposes, a small town. It was hot, and things were slow, but the campus was slowly starting to move, preparing for the school days ahead, the area was like water slowly rolling just before the boil.
After I had helped Dave move in, I ended up at the Greyhound station, bound for Cleveland. Jinx was, after all, turning 25 in a matter of days. And how long had it been since I’d seen my cousins in Cleveland anyway?
Oh, right. A year and a half.
*Miraculously I feel fairly certain the bird survived his final landing, although for how long I couldn’t say