Not a bad start to 09. I think I’ve gotten *almost* everything on my wishlist. Let’s see…

I want to be reading Tolstoy, one of the big, fat, leather ones, sitting by the fire in the Albemarle Library. Right. Now.

I want to be healthy.
I want to stare at the tree, all lit up, in the dark living room, for hours, just like I used to.
I want to walk through the garden in the snow.
I want to sneak downstairs at 5 am.
I want to make everyone coffee.
I want to talk in the kitchen till 3 am.
I want to be warm.
I want to go ride hood till I can’t feel my legs.
I want to eat scalloped potatoes and roast.
I want to see tacky sweaters and decorative dishware.
I want candles in every window.
I want a stocking full of guitar picks, deodorant, toothpaste and floss.
I want wreaths, garlands, bows and little fucking bells EVERYWHERE.
I want to sleep in a proper bed.
I want brothers, brothers, brothers, all of em.
I want pictures in front of the mantle, bad ones.
I want Honey Baked Ham and Pecan Pie.
I want family room jam sessions.
I want non-stop competitive sibling video game action.
I want to be home.

So, not bad. Only 1 remains partially unresolved, and even that situation has improved. It wasn’t all perfect. The first Christmas dinner was a bust, and two of the brodhisattvas didn’t get in till late Christmas night, thank you White Christmas. Dad’s party never materialized. Material gifts were fairly slim (I felt a little guitly being one of the only ones who actually “got” something under the tree). But in the end, it was a Christmas like any other, with all the above mentioned stuffs. I ate, I drank, I snowboarded and played videogames (4 way tetris FTW!).

Now, the brothers are gone, back to their own different corners of the country. Downstairs, my mother takes down the last of the Christmas decorations. Unemployed, I wander through the house, looking for things to do. I spend a lot of time on the internet. As expected, I feel disconnected from this place, from America, from the news, from culture, from Portland, from my friends & family. I feel like nothing I say relates to anyone here, or that every sentence I say starts with, “Well, in Japan…” (“And this one time, at band camp…”)
It’s uncomfortable, but it’s also a unique feeling to feel like a stranger in your own town. And every day, I wake up thankful to be warm, to be home, to be surrounded by things I fully understand… to have my Japanese a novelty, not a necessity. I feel the sensation of motion, like when you first feel a plane move back from the jetway; a kind of lurching in the stomach. Japan, in retrospect, is a giant hamster wheel, and all of us there running in place, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. It’s good exercise, and there’s nothing else to do in particular… yet it’s stationary and ultimately, dull. This is not to say I’ve arrived in the United States of Excitement, so much as I feel I’m carried along again on the automatic walkway after a long detour walking the opposite way. I felt so much excitement about being home, but now that I’m here it’s the usual anticlimax. It’s so easy to imagine a new life, you flip through a brief picture book in your mind… you see yourself in certain situations the way you’d frame a brief montage of character background in a feature film… it’s vague, romantic and free of medlesome details.

I’ve been seeing a lot of OES people, which is tremendously strange, but nice as well, in its own way. My old Reed crew has come completely to pieces and it’s for the better. I deal with people now as individual friends. I get to keep the good and ignore the rest. It really does feel like a blank slate, and here I am, without the slightest idea of my ambition for it. I feel that I really should try to consciously shape my life here, but simultaneously, I feel incapable of just that. I lack either the imagination or the foresight or both with which to do it. But, one thing I am resolved to do is not to worry. So I don’t.


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