"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, September 01, 2008

searching for home

that's my room last year, 2 or 3 days before the end of the year. i took this picture in a fleeting moment before i ran out of the room to meet friends to eat lunch at the dining hall, and something about the light that morning, the way my bed looked, the wood of the floor, the look of all my senior project books stacked up on my floor, all read, annotated, and waiting to be returned to the library, made me halt, smile while fighting back the urge to cry. it was the first really gripping moment i remember knowing i would miss moments like these, these significant pauses before a sudden leap.


i've been dragging my feet around my apartment in Los Angeles for the past week, remembering how happy i was just a few days ago, thinking about how funny it is, these changes in moods, the feeling of safety and completeness suddenly rushing away from me, like a parachute that won't open, just a useless backpack – dead weight.

i find myself trying to preserve some memory, some trace of a past self, a past life, a vestigial existence, in order to live thru my present. i'm collecting all the salvagable bits and pieces – the smell of the linens on my bed, the warmth of sunlight thru tree leaves coming in my window, the look of shadows on wooden floor, the smell of an old book and the feel of a hardbound in the crook of my arm as i walk around town, the tune of a Billy Bragg song i used to hum, the slight hum of a harmonica – and trying to weave them together, trying to create a home from them, some shelter for my troubled mind, some comfort to retreat to when i forget how to fall asleep at night, when i get tearful and remember that there's no one home to eat my dinner with, again.

the time in LA doesn't move. it never rains. it never gets colder, so if it weren't for the shortening days, i wouldn't know that we were heading toward december.

i feel an onsetting depression: i try to celebrate small successes – a tasty self-cooked meal, finding textbooks online for almost $100 less than bookstore price, fixing the broken printer at home, finding my keys after absent-mindedly misplacing them, crossing the street without getting hit by a car – but i find i'm pretty good at realizing when i'm trying to fool myself.

it's funny: when i would go back to school in Oxford for the fall, i would always get bouts of seasonal depression with the change in weather. the sudden cold, the lengthening nights, the accumulation of work, all would make me miss the summer and my family, and home.

but today, and yesterday, and all the many days before, i've been wondering what life in Oxford is like, missing the closeness of everything, the convenience of having 20 or so friends in walking distance, of having constant company, of never feeling alone. i miss going to class and being pleasantly surprised to bump into a friend on the way over on my bike. i miss my bike. i miss classes i enjoy. i miss having friends.

i had a post in mind when i came here, but it seems i've already written it. over a year ago, i wrote these two posts back to back and they, as reflections on my present state, echo and project my distress.

i'm listening to Billy Bragg now, and i'm pining for home.


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