24 June 2013

hugs and more hugs

I drove down to Universe City on Saturday, and it was weird. It was very weird. 

I drove down in the daylight, first of all, in the sunlight, and I almost never did that. I put off driving back to Universe City until the absolute latest moment, and it was always getting dark and almost always raining (okay, it felt like it was almost always raining; the reality is that the summers are clear and beautiful here) as I drove back.

But it was daylight, this time, and sunny, and the world did not funnel into a trap at the end of the valley. 

Instead, there were hugs and more hugs among babies toddling on a deck while adults overdosed on guacamole and blue chips. 

There were hugs and more hugs among the detritus of the martial arts studio, all away from the walls for painting. ("I love it!" I said, and I do. Now it is all grey and red and black like our tshirts and boxing gloves.) 

There were hugs and more hugs in the kitchen with salad and G&Ts, with tea and dark chocolate buttons, with Irish comedians and model aeroplanes.

There were hugs and more hugs after a night in such-a-boy-house belonging to my friends I. and B., except in the morning I noticed that the guest room closet contained a hanging Christmas wrapping paper organizer neatly stocked with paper.

There were hugs and more hugs at the newly opened Universe City branch of my tea place, together with conversations with former coworkers and former professional adversaries.

There were hugs and more hugs just down the hill from my old house, with S. and little K., with Cameroonian style beans and lemonade and little chocolate wafer squares and determination to fix S.'s iPhone (I did).

And when it was all over, a flurry of hugs and food and smiles, I came home, here, to Gone West.

I have some good friends in Universe City. There are quality people there. I miss them.

I caught myself driving on auto-pilot, making my way without thinking toward home, toward work, toward martial arts. It felt so familiar, like I could have slipped right back into my life there.

But - for me - it's better to call Gone West home.

No comments: