home as a place i used to be
"All the Wine" by The National
I'm put together beautifully
Big wet bottle in my fist
Big wet rose in my teeth
I'm a perfect piece of ass
Like every Californian
So tall I take over the street
With high beams shining on my back
A wingspan unbelievable
I'm a festival, I'm a parade
And all the wine is all for me
And all the wine is all for me
And all the wine is all for me
November 26, 2018 Monday 12:23 PM
At some point during this song he's all, "I'm a birthday candle in a circle of black girls," and I was confused because surely, being a song, you have limited real estate for lyrics so you would be careful with word choice; so what is the significance of the girl's being black? Later on in the song, though, he mentions carrying a dollhouse through the black city so I've started to think that the black girls aren't racially black, or if they are it's irrelevant; black is something else in the context of the song. And that's my unfinished thought on this song.
(me on a lake at home)
I'm experiencing some sort of emotional hangover from going home.
- I keep thinking about Alexis (friend from home)
- And I keep thinking about Maria (friend from school)
- And I keep thinking about my dad, and Greg, and Mr. Sandwich
- And I'm thinking about Liv
- And I'm thinking about myself and the space I occupy in this world, what sort of space I ~want~ to occupy
I liked being home. I brought Nadiya and Maria back with me and introduced them to my family and the new kittens (Gus and BartholoMEOW), which climbed all over us like little familiars and clumsily slapped at each other. Oh it was so cute. The house wasn't too cluttered, although still stuffed to overflowing with things (Lancelot once asked if my mother was a hoarder from the way I spoke about home). But I had a newfound appreciation for the overwhelming clutter—instead of remembering the anxiety it caused in high school, the panic of having no space of things that were *mine* of being unable to leave things sitting around because they'd get lost... I dunno, I remembered being a kid. And how wonderful it was that we had hundreds of books on every subject. Shelves of cookbooks, biology textbooks, two sets of encyclopedias, a million dictionaries and thesauri (varying from pocket-size to too heavy for my childarms to carry with lettering too small for oldeyes to read). And the kids novels, with yellow pages and booksmell, and the classic novels too, the various philosophy novels (Sartre is what I'm recalling right now), picture books of anatomy or historical events, yearbooks, boxes of photos, piles of magazines, memoirs, self-help, creative nonfiction, scientific nonfiction, old fantasy novels, historical fiction, books on photography and composition and language (my sister's), etc. etc. etc. And that's not including all the knick-knacks everywhere, the odd instruments on the shelves, things made of gourds and reeds, the recorder, metronome, piles of sheet music for viola, piano, etc. The plants everywhere, overflowing their pots, and upstairs in the office a bunch of old cameras on the shelves and two microscopes and 4 rolls of tape all with different patterning, paintings on the walls, figurines.
That stuff was so cool to me. It was like being in a museum cataloguing someone else's life. I felt like a stranger, looking at these books that I grew up with, familiar painting on the wall of an abstract San Francisco, of a dust road in Malpaisillo, familiar patterned runners on the coffee table, in the dining room, hanging over the banister, spilling out of the closet. I know where some of these things come from, I can tell you the history of them, but if I'm honest much of it has been around longer than I have. My dad's weird gourd shaker, for example. What even the fuck is that? No one uses it—it's unwieldy and besides it's on the top shelf, out of reach, covered in dust. I remember looking up at it as a kid. I remember the sounds it can make, although I have no idea who made it make those sounds (probably my dad). But I don't know where it came from—garage sale or travels abroad? A gift or self-bought? I can guess but who knows, I've never bothered asking. And the textbooks everywhere, I don't even know who they belong to, who could've read them. Possibly my mom, but why? I know she was in nursing school for a while, which explains the physiology stuff, but otherwise no. Some of them were mine from back in the day, some 4th grade New York State history thing that I never read (they had me take it home when I was in 5th grade because in 4th I lived in California and thus missed the NYS history unit. Instead I learned about CA's history, the gold rush, Sacramento, missions, etc—anyway it was intended to catch me up on a lost year but I never ended up needing it for whatever reason).
I don't know. It was just so amazing, to me. I haven't read 10% of the books in my house, there's too many. I wonder if any of us have, actually. Even when we went outside, so I could show Nadi and Maria around the neighborhood, I was shocked. It was beautiful. It was twenty degrees, streets empty and the asphalt chapped pale and rigid from the cold, and the leaves were whipping around and the sky was clear blue and the sun gold. I led them down to the lake about a block from my house and it was frozen over, some of it absolutely clear so that it still looked wet to walk on it even though it wasn't—and we stood out on the lake watching the sun and the trees and Nadi said it was beautiful. She says my hometown reminds me of Gravity Falls.
Because it is winter, and because generally it is not a lively place to live, everything was quiet and empty. I showed them the Gorge where many people have drowned trying to climb the steep slate walls. "This is a chasm," said Maria, and I felt so proud, which is kind of weird because this geographical feature has existed for a long time and it has been the cause of a lot of peoples death and I spent a lot of years walking back and forth past it and very rarely did I stop to stare at it except when the sun was setting and the water was rushing and brown.
Maria's from Chicago and I get the feeling she doesn't like the small town jam (she actually has pretty much said so. It's less implicit than I made it sound lmao), but I think she liked my family and my house anyway, which is nice. I want it to be appreciated; I want my parents to be appreciated I mean. I was telling Maria, that it's like my family has become what it was always supposed to be—with people coming in and out. A few years ago it was empty and dark and quiet and I hated it. And now it's like my sister stops by everyday and she'll bring her boyfriend Joshua for breakfast and it is the American Dream!
Maria said, "The american dream?"
And I said, "well, for me," because throughout my childhood we'd been alone in Upstate New York; no relatives, they were all strangers in Nicaragua and California and Florida and Colorado. No one just came in unannounced. Stephanie was kind of a comfort for the reason that she'd barge into our house with a cake or something, no warning, "just stopping by." She had that privilege. This is something I don't particularly want to consider at the moment, but I sort of miss her for this.
And now it felt like that could happen. I have never considered moving back home in my adulthood, but I am starting to wonder if I should eventually go back. A lifetime of separation has taught me that having a family—not just immediate—is really, really fucking important. If I have kids, I don't want to deny them that. And I want them to love my home like I love it and hate it.
It's easier to love when I'm a visitor, I know. In a way it's very sad because I really don't live there anymore. My dad might say I do, but my billing address is not their house anymore (at least for one of my cards, the one I use). Ultimately that doesn't even matter, it's kind of more about what occupies the space—my room isn't mine; it's full of stuff that I left behind, and stuff that Caroline left behind. I don't live there. When I'm sleeping in their beds, I'm sleeping with the knowledge that this is temporary. I get exhausted after a while, and I want to go back but not back to my parents—back to myself.