A week before I left for the States I got lost in my own city. I was headed to a party, at a house I had been in before, and I miscalculated some train stops. Had to take a turn, and a longish walk back, and some winding streets among some looming buildings in the dark before I found my way. It was a good party, with wine and guitars and dogs running around and just the right ratio of cool vs. annoying people to keep you on your toes.
I am back in my home city and, again, I am one of those people.
People who get to work when they want, and play when they want. Who show up at parties alone, the lover overseas and six hours behind, and get to stay out as long as they want. Who take cabs home, and mind their drinks because there is no one to say “My baby’s tipsy” and take them safely home and tuck them in. Who live on the other side of town, and when it’s time to say Goodnight hold no one’s hand walking back.
At sunset, when decent folk scurry home after picking up dinner at the grocery store, I drag my feet because home is elsewhere. I am one of those people again, that get lost in their own city after living in it for thirty years. I take the longest walks and have time for all my errands. I write letters, stay up late and early, and bury myself in work. Sundays are lonely and the weather doesn’t mean anything.
I check my complexion, my weight, the look in my eyes in the mirror, as if I had just returned from the Moon, as if gravity were somehow different overseas, and scales and mirrors and human eyes registered different values. Funny, it seems that nothing has changed, even though I am a pumpkin again. Pft.
I have everything I want, only slightly misplaced and mistimed. I am happy, only dissatisfied. There are not enough hours in the day for all my projects, yet I wish I could go into hibernation and wake up a year from now, just in time to watch the cherry drop on top. My heart is contracting with this tough-love anatomy of longing.