It's snowing here, wild white gusts have conquered the skies and the streets and there's nothing I can do about it. Not that I planned to. Knowledge that there are forces at work that affect my life that I cannot control. I could say I grew up with the snow, but that would be lying. I grew up in Sacramento, but had seen snow on trips to my relatives in Lowell, Mass.
Now I'm in Massachusetts, I lived here for seven years, leaving for sunnier skies a few years ago. Part of me must be used to the snow, must be, but when I saw the flakes start falling I couldn't help but feel something new, feel like I was witnessing something special. It was not special, it was frozen water, but what was special was the realization that I had become a tourist... in my own city.
I live in Spain now, Barcelona, and snow falls sparingly. I have been living abroad in a variety of different climes, but Boston has always been my response when people ask where home is. I was too young when I lived in Cali and after all, it's the formative years that count. I cheered and acted smug when the sox finally beat the yankees, trying to teach my european acquaintances what the curse of the bambino was. Guess I had this idea of home, where my friends are, where my family lives, a place not unlike a sitcom, where nothing much changes until one day you go home and everyone’s having babies.
A few months ago a relationship I was in ended. We were together for a year, and it was one of those intense things, spending every second together, traveling together, totally messing up each other’s heads. When I got down to Barcelona I swore I wouldn’t get into another one for some time... they can be damaging. I didn’t, I worked leading a pub crawl and had lots of casual relationship with travelers and fellow expatriates. I found it all boring. Honestly, I’d rather not. I am a man, and I am a mammal, and I understand that my body has certain physical needs, but after two months of not giving a fuck, I realized my lifestyle gave me a certain apathy of the lips, and it made me feel like shit.
Life’s kind of flattened out, I found a well paying job in a boiler room (and scamming people for a living has pretty much increased the apathy, now money has no meaning and I’m a bastard), and nice friends. I’ve gotten into the psytrance scene and have a lot of fun on the weekends. I met a nice austrian girl who I would love to be in a relationship with, but she seems to want to keep it at a friendship level. More appropriately she’s my girlfriend and we have no physical connection or commitment. This is all very strange.
Before I came home I stopped off in Stockholm to see my ex-girlfriend. I wanted to turn a former lover into a current friend. The girl’s amazing, creative, wonderful, and I loved her. She’s too much to lose and that seems to be happening. In Stockholm I realized she’s also manipulative and spoiled and we parted on terms like ‘I hope you find someone that makes you happy’ and ‘I’ll probably never see you again’. Beautiful. Now I’m back in Beantown... and the journey has proved strange. I am a tourist in my own city. Boston was never my home. My parents have moved up to Newburyport, a town I’ve never been to before, and my friends all have different lives, from me and each other.
Not sure what I expected, wanted. I know that you never get what you expect. But now... now I feel homeless. I have nowhere in America I can call home. Nowhere I know better than Shanghai, Stockholm, Barcelona, Boston, Olympia, Hong Kong. All my possessions fit in a backpack, a few books, some CDs, clothes. I can’t say I really know anyone any more. Maybe I never should’ve tried. Freedom’s supposed to be just another word for nothing left to lose, and that’s what I hope, but driving without a map just makes me feel lost. Happy Holidays everyone. Kiss a stranger on New Years. Mourn the terrible things that happen daily and fall in love. This beauty of life, it is beyond us and our creations. Society, morality, cannot touch it. It is strange and covers everything.
I rediscovered snow, and that was nice. I saw my family for the first time in two years, surprised them. I lost a person and a place, two things I never actually had. When I worked in a cannery in Alaska a friend of mine up there, his brother called and left him a message. His brother had worked there before. Message said: I know things are getting tough up there, you’re probably not sleeping much and working all the time. Hold on to your sanity, but don’t hold too tight. Sanity like grains of sand will slip between your fingers if you grip tightly. Instead cup it, like a boob. Words to remember. Also: No one gets out of here alive.