I am here in a crappy hotel room, at the end of the second day of the journey. (Damn, my body is not used to being in a car for 10 hours a day, multiple days in a row.) In fact, we're in City Where my Incredibly, Life-Definingly Nostalgic Father Grew Up. We're staying here for two nights, in fact, to indulge his nostalgia.
I have only been here once before, when I was 7. What I remember of that trip is mainly impressionistic: a fancy swimming pool, with water slides and a tower; my father's wallet being stolen from said swimming establishment; a cool multicoloured short-sleeved shirt I had, which had "gold" thread woven into the fabric and felt like the coolest thing I'd ever owned; going roller skating; being crushed out on the daughter of my father's old school friend...All fleeting impressions.
But what defines Nostalgic Dad City, much more than any of those impressions, is a mood I remember. I remember very strongly feeling as if this city was haunted, inhabited by spirits. That feeling stayed with me for years - I would get an uneasy chill every time I even thought of this place. As an adult, I became aware of the source of those feelings. I was reading a Stephen King comic book on that trip (who the frack was letting me read such a thing at 7??), and that made me jumpy and nervous in general. (I remember not being able to fall asleep...) And during the vacation days in Nostalgia City, we were touring around and I was being regaled with various famous Native legends that define this place and the surrounding area. Legends involving spirits or sleeping souls of various kinds, all of them. Put that together with the Stephen King, and you have an easy recipe for a haunted city.
So I thought a lot about that feeling as we approached here today, and I wondered whether I would still feel as if this place were inhabited. I don't, I find. Not at all. In a sense, that almost makes me sad. It almost makes me nostalgic for an indefinable feeling, for an "irrational" belief. For the possibility of having such beliefs.
Other journey notes:
- I was wrong about turning to stone, not feeling any more emotion about leaving Home City. Leaving Mr. K nearly broke my heart, it did. I can't even really think about it without getting overwrought, so I have spent a fair amount of my time deliberately training my mind away from it. And indulging the dogs I've met on the journey, and taking pictures of them. A poor substitute. R tells me Mr. K's been very quiet since I left.
- Last night, I sent an INSANE email. It is as if upon leaving Home, I became a different person (a drug-addled one, perhaps??), able to recklessly stir up drama in my own life at the touch of a send button. Oh. my. god. All I can say is, it's a good thing I'm going far away. What was I thinking??
- Then spent most of my day, when I wasn't trying to avoid thinking about Mr. K, meditating on my newfound lack of caution and the email I sent, and anticipating a return email. Which has not materialized. Oh my god, the suspense! The drama! The lunacy! (Perhaps will find a way to blog about this - have to think about it...Just know - craziness.)
- William Hurt reading The Sun Also Rises: a fine audiobook. I recommend it.
- Off to sleep now, and to ponder my personal carelessness some more.