Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm trying to feel more well adjusted than I really am, which is, I guess, the human condition

A creeping sense of unease always settles on me as soon as I arrive in my old home town. It gradually increases until it becomes relentless, unbridled angst around day five, and I feel like an animal in a cage.

I walked through the center of town at four in the morning, on my way from a Super Bowl party to a piece of shit bed in a piece of shit hotel. Some things have stayed the same. Others have changed. Still others attempt to change, not understanding that a certain doom awaits them just beyond the horizon. Leaving sharpens a clarity of vision that staying can negate completely.

There's still a huge red rewind sign on the library for some reason. The Greek restaurant has been replaced by a Vietnamese place. Empty store fronts interspersed with the places that have always been there, and some new hopefuls. They'll be gone the next time. Doom, doom, doom.

It was a cold night. Or is four o'clock morning? Or some non-hour, inhabitated only by insomniacs and ghosts? Besides myself and a car from a security company, nothing moved. Stars above. Snow crunched underfoot. Sleep deprivation and the mother of all sugar rushes spiralled my mind off in unexpected directions.

I understand why people stay, and even go back after leaving, but I can't see any of those things applied to myself. It's as if the town exists completely apart from me, a tableau viewed from without even when I'm within. A ghost town. And something I can no longer connect to. It felt like walking through a set piece for some bizarrely depressing play.

There are people there, and a few places, that still resonate with the warmth of home, but home as a physical location shifted several years ago. And maybe, through that shift, the disconnect is inevitable.