Friday, August 24, 2007
A Sort of Homecoming
‘Good times with old friends’ is what I wrote. In the documentary of our lives there is so much that goes unrecorded and unspoken that is so difficult to articulate, like that sadness that is missing someone wherever I go. This is the price the global citizen pays for mobility.
Every summer I fall in love in a new city. I fall in love again with old friends, fall in love anew with new ones.
There’s a goodbye party because meeting all these splendid lovers individually is physically impossible on a chronically tight schedule. So in one night they flash before me in a parade where every float carries the significance of the fact that I won’t see it again, at least not for a while.
As evening ticks into morning, I collect the hugs of the ones I just got to know and the ones I thought would never end. And I feel so heavy, weighted by the sadness of the ones who dare to cry, to say that it’s a sad day. I love them the most in this moment of departure.
The party is organic and free range, dynamic and boisterous. At one point a bunch of 30-something white folks are dancing to Billy Jean (but who else would these days?) and they all want to moonwalk. Some flow out onto the deck to stargaze – supposed to be a meteor shower tonight. The conversations are fleeting and soft despite the gravity pulling us together this last time.
I hug everyone goodbye including the ones I barely spoke with because there were just too many competing interests among us. So many good people assembled here.
It was a brief summer of brief encounters, squeezing too much into too little time and too much space. It felt much like Christmases of the past decade, in and around that cottage by the shore in the East. Over the years the numbers there have diminished but not the quality.
It is inevitable now that the same will happen at the centre of the universe I’ve inhabited, built up, settled, where I’ve connected, lived and loved. It is the price I pay for my homecoming, to return to the place where I belong.
TC: i was just thinking that as i fired up this PC.
TWM: I think you're right about that.
It gets us before we hardly know it.
Suddenly, for no apparent reason than turning thirty and a bit beyond--Whoops. I'm thirty. And 31.
And I seem in slo-mo all of a sudden. And I wanna come home.
Ivan: yeah, you got it, brother. there goes 32. when does it stop?
TC: thanks to that method my mother is now younger than I am.
Ah, how was PEI? I was there last summer, it's a beautiful place.
PEI was grand. Anne is kitchy, but the red beaches are the real deal. Watching my brother's childlike glee as I taught him how to make a fire and pitch a tent was priceless. And visiting my cousin's old lighthouse gave me a nostalgic high.
I think we all want to stay awake, push the issue. But we cant. Time is just this way.
I am not sad about not seeing people, certain people are in my life even when I go for periods of time without them. Its the people that we lose or disconnect from that bothers me. I dont always understand how it happens.
I think a combination of good intentions, then a sort of shame that stops us from calling the old friend?
I dont know.
Lynn: sometimes life just gets in the way. time is definitely speeding up here in my universe.
bittersweet to leave, but how blessed to have had the dance!
not that I'm dissing on da chronic!
I really like how it's also a little ambiguous who the "lovers" are, your friends or the places that you travel to see. It is clear that the people obviously are, but the cities and lands and even the stargazed sky could be lovers. Brief encounters all around, like a meteor burning brightly and faidng as quick as it appeared.
Peace out, Benji
When's your birthday? I wonder if we have the same one.
Myutopia: twas a good party.
Claire: i'm glad i'm not alone at least. it's good to see you here again.
singleton: every dance is a precious memory.
eric: just call me gramps. i seem to be working with a lot of ambiguity lately.
Dawn: welcome here, and thanks for the comment. reverence is definitely under-rated in this business. my birthday's the 26th, you?
All: 3-day novel's going so-so. i'm a bit distracted by life's upheavals. the effect on the style of writing is ok, but it's hard to stay focused right now. plus, i'm on page 48 and i'm almost out of plot - shit! here's a sample from page 33, a most significant number as bumi fans know:
I’m not sure about that, but I do remember that time I almost killed you. It was an accident, that much I was honest about. But, to be more honest, it wasn’t as much as an accident as I led you to believe. Maybe you figured this out already, but I pushed you on purpose. I just didn’t mean to hurt you so bad. I guess I wasn’t thinking too clearly, and I wanted to make you feel something. Since I couldn’t seem to get you to feel anything good, I decided to try and hurt you. It was easier than I’d expected. I’m sorry you went over the railing. That much I regret, and that’s the truth.
re page 33:
I have had one episode like that in my life.
It comes up every now and then.
And scares me.
Like you, I might have to try and make it into literature.
But literature seems to go its own way. It has its own requirements and demands. The personal becoming a symbol...That's if you're a symbolist.
it is scary stuff, and i think i've written kind of a scary story, without meaning to. it's dark in my head. somebody gimme a match.
I’m not simpleminded enough to blame child obesity on video games, Ellie, so wipe that smirk off your face. My point is that once you put a price-tag on fun, the profits eat the product, and you’re left with a bunch of over-worked, socially unskilled white guys selling ultra-violent fake sex to pre-teen butterballs. Okay, I took a bit of a logic leap there, but is it a coincidence that I started thinking about career soon after I saved up enough paper-route money to buy my first Atari?
Cousin was a light house keeper?! I'd love that job! (As long as I could have a computer and internet access there to keep writing. that has got to be one of the true romantic jobs of the world) Loneliness only deepens the writing.
Ahh... my old Atari 2600--I once played Ateroids until the score went back to zero--I officially was a dork at age seven, and that event cemented it.
Nowadays, it's the Elder Scrolls series and Simcity 4, and any Civilization game--heretofore known as "the waster of years".
Fitzgerald is an interesting comparison though. i've only read Gatzby, and i didn't like it much. maybe if it hadn't been mandatory reading...on the other hand, i loved 'to kill a mockingbird' and that was mandatory too. who knows? maybe i should give fitzgerald another shot. any recommendations?
That night Frankie told me about his guitar lessons from Pitson, Frankie and I made chords on our forearms for hours along with Zeppelin’s low volume wailing while you slept. Then I curled up in bed with him and kissed his head, told him I loved him. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. He fell asleep so peacefully before I tore myself away and crept into our bed. Your cold feet reached for my legs instinctively and I shuddered. You recoiled from me, and we both sighed, relieved.