Home Again (A (kind of) stream of consciousness.)
I look through the same drawer of old shit every time I come home even though the contents never change. There's a stack of 7 wallet sized senior portraits of my high school friends, a letter from my dad, some Clinique moisturizer (the yellow kind), a broken necklace from the Japanese restaurant where I celebrated my 16th birthday, some butterfly clips, an ugly baby blue fleece glove (just one) and a cardboard star with my name on it that used to hang on my bedroom door when I was young because I've always been...A STAR. Nothing in there is exciting or even nostalgic really. It's a drawer of crap. Actual crap. But I still look through it every time I am home. I've always wanted a drawer to have something in it that really means something to me. Like that scene in Miracle on 34th Street when Susan is like, "Santa, I want a house, a real house," and she reaches over and pulls out a little picture of a house she keeps tucked away in the drawer next to her bed. That's what I'm going for. I want to find real treasure in this drawer. Instead, I'm looking at one crappy blue fleece glove desperately trying to assign meaning to it. It's from the Gap. I don't remember when I wore it. I know I put that single glove in the drawer in ceremonious time capsule fashion so I could pull it out in years, hold it and think, "This glove. Oh. This glove."
I put that glove in that drawer because of Serendipity. Kate Beckinsale. Fate. She and John Cusack each kept a single glove. I wanted that shitty Gap glove to mean something. I loved Serendipity.
Upon reflection, I've always been obsessed with the idea of nostalgia and what it must feel like. Every time I come home I'm ready to let it wash over me. I expect to turn into the neighborhood where I grew up, drive up Highfield Chase Dr., see the house where we moved when I turned 4 and where my parents still live and just feel like, "Sigh. I'm home. I'm home again." I want it to be dramatic and romantic, I want to be flooded with memory. This is the first trip in the eleven years since I moved away that I've truly experienced it. Home. I got out of my Dad's Tahoe at midnight, was blasted in the face by hot, sticky air and thought, "Oh my gosh, I remember this. I miss this." And it felt like reading a novel about Savannah, GA or some other hot Southern place. I was ...In the Garden of Good and Evil. FINALLY, I was coming home again in this dramatic, romantic literary fashion. Lightening bugs. Oh god, lightning bugs. I almost teared up staring from the deck stairs into the backyard at them. I didn't actually tear up but I did feel the nostalgic swell, like taking a really deep breath and feeling safe. And now, I'm sitting at my childhood desk, staring at a lampshade I decoupaged with pictures of flowers I cut from Martha Stewart magazine and thinking about how I used to lay on this floor, stare at the fan and wish to be 32. And now I am 33. The meaningless crap in that drawer is still meaningless. The Clinique yellow moisturizer is not completely dried up which I find a bit weird and disturbing. The letter from my dad is actually just a note telling me he was going up to the store. I'm still in touch with most of the people whose yearbook pictures I have and that glove. That stupid single glove. I realize now that the nostalgia isn't in the crap, it's in the connection between the mind of the 16 year old who dreamily put the shit in the drawer and the 33 year old writing this post. It's not rolling my eyes and feeling embarrassment for her anymore or feeling itchy and like I need to get back to whatever city I'm living and really "get to work." It's a relaxed appreciation of everything that's lead to now.
It's been a good trip.