I'd stay up all night in the spare bedroom, next to the one I lived in between leases. I listened to many of the same songs from this summer, songs that helped me through the move. Now here I am, literally on the other side of things – the other side of the wall, the other side of the transition. The songs still affect me the same way. I'm not sure if that's the power of music, or how much I haven't changed, or if I should even be analyzing that fact, trying to glean meaning from it. I don't know which city to be homesick for anymore.
I had forgotten a lot; I guess that happens when you leave one city for another. I had forgotten the way your shoulders tense up when you drive in Memphis traffic. The way you watch the other cars' tires, just knowing they're about to inch over the dashed line and cause a major wreck. The way they ride your butt when you're already going ten over the limit, even though an empty lane is available. The way the cars going ten under hog the left lane and ride their brakes.
But there's good stuff, too.
I had forgotten the tree in my neighbor's yard – the first picture I took with my first SLR camera.
I had forgotten how festive our Christmas tree always looks.
I had forgotten how goofy Mom gets after working all weekend. “What did you say your kids would call your dad? Umpa?”
No, I said they'd call you Geegaw.
“Oh no, I don't want to be called Geegaw! I want to be called Miss Kitty.”
(Her words are immortalized here. My kids will have “Weekends with Geegaw and Miss Kitty.” Sounds like a disaster. Or a British sitcom.)
I had forgotten exactly how good cheese fries and Ghost River are. And pizza and Ghost River. How yummy and cheap donuts after midnight are. I learned that wine and popcorn aren't such a great pair, and I hope I won't forget that for next time.
I had forgotten how many nicknames my parents have for me, and that my grandfather still calls me Alli.
I had forgotten how much I love talking to my dad about books and architecture. I had forgotten how much I appreciate him cutting out articles about my favorite authors, even if he doesn't care much for them.
I had not forgotten how much I loved my job. Only a bare bones staff was around, due to the holidays, but I had a delightful lunch with old co-workers who seemed genuinely glad to see me, who never stopped asking questions and wanting to hear stories. My boss hugged me so tight, and we shared offensive jokes and book recommendations over an energy drink – just like old times. I know I couldn't have lasted there, the 9-5 cube dwellin' lifestyle, and that it's better to have loved and left than to have never left at all... but dammit, I miss them.
I arrived with a small duffel bag, a carry-on, and one paperback. Extreme giftage and book-shopping happened, which meant I had to buy new luggage. That isn't a bad thing, considering my last bag was from middle school, made of some sort of bright purple plastic product. Even with the larger bag, I had to cram in:
four pounds of coffee
a bucket-sized coffee mug
notebooks and stationary
16 books (hardback and paperback)
and other various items I have forgotten and will be surprised to find when I unpack.
I have so much to take care of when I get home, but no school or work: half-ass business as usual. I hope my clothes smell like coffee when I unpack.
Harmless rain that has been pitter-pattering on the roof all day just now knocked out the power. Oh, Memphis, I'll not miss you, but I'm awfully glad I came.