July 11, 2008

The Dirty Truth



I'm filthy. My hair is really oily because of the humidity and hangs in clumps in front of my face, and I'm lathering myself with bug repellant every day, which is just oil, and I'm hanging out in the sand which clings to the oil, and then Buckaroo is covered in dirt and hanging off of my hip. Plus, he's forever mashing the remains of a half-chewed strawberry on my pants. It's not pretty.

But here's the real dirt: I want to go home now. I thought I would have until the snow fell before I felt homesick. I thought it would feel like vacation until it got cold, and then I could hunker down with the lousy weather.

It is so incredibly beautiful here, and I've realized how much I've missed driving windy backroads lined with green trees and listening to my music. Driving was like that where I grew up in California, so-- with the exception of the price of gas-- it's familiar and comforting. There's one part of the drive to the house where the trees are really tall and lean toward each other across the road, stretching for sunlight. That's my favorite place to pass through.

And today the sky was something I've never seen before, some crazy combination of cloudy and dark with patches of blue sky and sunshine that winked on the water. Buckaroo and I picked blueberries by the lake while the big kids swam, and I tried to teach him the difference between blue and green.
I keep asking myself how I could want anything else.

Everyone we meet is so friendly and welcoming, and they have really knocked themselves out to introduce us to other people and let us know what's what. It's hard making new friends, though, too. I'm always a little drained afterward, probably from trying to conceal what a freak I really am.
The other day I was driving back from a playdate, and Buckaroo fell asleep in the car, and I was starving, so I stopped at Taco Bell (which is probably the dirtiest truth in this post, but I'm so missing the taqueria). I sat in an ugly, 1970s strip mall parking lot, wolfing down my fake tacos, and Patti Griffin's "Rain" came on the iPod:

"Strange how hard it rains now
rows and rows of big dark clouds
but I'm still alive underneath this shroud. . . ."

I just started sobbing. Bits of crunchy corn shell flying every which way. Pathetic. I just let myself go there for a few minutes, though. I thought about how much I miss my dad, too, and about my new dreams where I go back to the accident and save him. Waking up is painful. I keep thinking that he's going to call any day, but how will he find me here?

Then I pulled myself together, threw away the fast food evidence, and drove home. That night the rain poured down again.

Last night, though, from our bedroom window, R and I heard the hoot of our first owl. It didn't sound anything like I thought it would.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to imagine what you're going through - this is from someone who gets homesick on the first night away from home. My bearings are always so screwed up until I can figure out my away around the new area. I get really snappy too! I remember driving around Alameda the first time with O, we went to Mervyn's - what an adventure; having her in the car kept me grounded, I'm the Nana and had to be in control of my emotions. It was such a short drive and it seems silly now and yet I remember hearing your directions in my head; turn left then turn right, you'll see the diner and Mervyn's is located in the same parking lot. Love QW