I, in the time it took me to came back here and tick these keys to chart my life again, managed to visit "home" twice. The first visit was a burst of cool, welcoming bang; with friends quickly huddling to the spot i was to see, greet, and laugh with me. There was a momentary fear on the drive up that somewhere the area would have a negative effect. To my luck there was only one, and it so brief it made me smile.
The negative happened the night i went to visit Josh and Stephanie to see their new baby, i made it a point to make it to their home, where i even cancelled seeing another friend because i knew i needed to be there. I have very little interest in babies, as all my friends know, which i think made Josh a little surprised when i mentioned i had to see the little one. I figured when you have a friend you literally known for half of your life, seeing their new child is an unwritten obligation even i can't ignore. i met the newest addition, had some fun talking to her and watched her interact with amazement at everything in her world.
Later when Stephanie put the baby to sleep, Josh waved me over to his cluttered kitchen table and picked up a photo and handed it to me. Before i even looked at the photo i glanced at the table and noted the hodgepodge was all photos. Nearly every scrape of "paper" was a picture; a bedlam of memories. "My mom found these," Josh said, as i looked at the pic in my hand. My eye was drawn to three things; right off was the bean poll himself: Josh, standing arms folded, his signature half smile gleaming on his face, leaning on the still together wreaked Chevy Blazer he bought from my dad. The second was the Blazer itself, it was still partially smashed when my older sister crashed it years before the pic was taken. The last was myself. Beardless, less fat, and all smiles of a 17 year old who knows nothing. It wasn't the collective youth of the picture, or even the scene itself, it was my spring-tide smile that drove a point in me: "What have i been doing?" That was the first time nostalgia had a hardened edge, i nearly winced outwardly, and i felt old.
I thanked him for the picture when he said i could keep it if i wanted. When i got back to my friends house where i was staying i placed the picture of us between the pages of a book (an absolute for me when i travel is to have a book) so it wouldn't get wrinkled.
My second trip wasn't as eventful. The excitement of my absence had waned, as all things do and i has a relatively calm stay. But one event on the second trip was so odd and surprising i might talk about it.
But for now, it's getting late and i feel i need a drink. Hopefully i'll write again soon.