I hadn’t been home since September, and I wasn’t home for 10 minutes before I walked out to the backyard and burst into tears. It’s strange how home — the place I spent my first 18 years, and significant moments of the ensuing 13 — can develop an unpleasant patina. Everything has a different weight.
For instance: The backyard is where I had a little zip line and Annie’s Roost, the treehouse Dad built for me. Both are gone now, and the yard isn’t as meticulously maintained as it once was. So I go there and remember, but I also see the absence of what used to be. I miss my father terribly. I am embarrassed to admit that a day hasn’t gone by without me crying about missing him, because then it seems like I’m a depressive. But if I can’t be sad about this, what can I be sad about?
I am just getting home from a night out with Jesse, JC, Miles, and (unexpectedly) Tim and John and Jimk. While I don’t miss certain aspects of Chicago (pollution, sprawl, noise) I miss my friends and family terribly. I miss walking into my old haunts to meet them and then running into other friends because this is where we go and have gone for 10 years. There is always a friend there. I don’t have that in SF, not even after almost three years.
One thing I’ve learned lately is that your old friends really are often the best ones, because they know all of your sullied parts and love you anyway. And vice versa. I am lucky to have them, and am equally grateful for newer friends who will be old ones in 10 years’ time.