After a loooooong sojourn in the land(s) of my people, I am once more ensconced with my hedgehog in my delightfully purple bedroom in West Hollywood.
Trips home, wherever I may be envisioning home at the moment, are always exhausting. This one was almost seven weeks of exhausting, a longer trip than I had ever taken anywhere in the past. I hit NY, CT, MA, and RI, the tetrastate area that, until last August, basically contained my entire life. It hasn't changed much.
Over the course of these weeks, I stayed in four apartments, one house, one tent, and one hotel. I lived out of two suitcases, two backpacks, and one Ultimate Case of Doom (noted particularly for its face smashing abilities). I saw six relatives, seven ex-coworkers, three former students, and numberless friends. I drank three new Scotches and numberless old Scotches, almost none of which I bought with my own money.
I gained between 10 and 15 pounds. I exercised a total of three times. I slept an average of 5.75 hours a night (I made that number up, but I think it's true). I became uncomfortable wearing most of my clothing again. This is what it is to go home again. This, perhaps, is why you can't.
Now I am back in the eternal sunshine of the spotless complexions, and things are pretty much instantly better. I have slept more, eaten less junk-per-meal, and today I begin my return to exercise as my gym membership restarts with the first of the month. I have papers to write, but they are manageable and enjoyable. I have a lecture series to plan, which I am thrilled to be running, and which promises to be interesting, if nothing else. I have an apartment to myself for the next three weeks, so I can walk around naked and nobody will see or smirk at my sudden loss of physique.
Yes, Los Angeles is imperfect. People here tend to flake out on commitments, arrive hours late for engagements, and spend more time on their appearances than I can stomach. Plus the traffic is nuts. But you know what? It's home, and I'm glad to be in it. It's home that's not exhausting, because it requires no trip to stay here; once I'm here, I'm here for several months. I don't travel to the old country again until mid-December, and that's great. Don't get me wrong; I loved seeing y'all. Loved it. I will love seeing y'all again. But, but, but, and once again but--I love being my own person in my own space, away from the baggage of 24 years in the same small area.
Welcome home, me.
Oh, and the title comes from Alexander Key's children's book of the same name, sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain, one of my favorites from the public library as a child. You should totally read both of them.