Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wandering Homeless

I'm finally back, back in Cali, Cali.

Or home, as it should be. But home is a funny thing when you're me. When someone asks where I'm from, my eyes glaze over while I decide how to launch into the list of places I call home and why I can't honor the question with a straight answer. By the time I reach the second or third, "And then I lived in," their eyes glaze over.

I don't mean to brag or bore but there isn't a way to simplify the answer. If home is where the heart is, maybe I'm confused about just where the damn pulsating organ has gone. When I am home in Syracuse where I live, I refer to LA as "home." When I am home in LA where my family lives, I talk of going "home" to Syracuse. When I am in neither place and answering from the heart instead of the brain, "home" is, without question, Trinidad & Tobago where my culture lives.

It is a dilemma I admit I'm glad to have, but at some point, as a traveler or wanderer or nomad, no place feels like home. This time, in LA, I'm like the puzzle piece that seems to be the right shape but doesn't quite fit. If you force it, it juts out, gets stuck and the big picture never makes sense.

I watch as suave drivers in designer shades shuffle on undeterred by the traffic that has quadrupled what should be their commute time. I, on the other hand, am quietly losing my mind. If traffic didn't make sense to me before, the taste of a traffic-less life has worn my patience thin; there's more to life than the 5 freeway! I've heard there's public transportation here, must look into that for next time.

Everyone is glamorous, the Hollywood sign is sparkling and the drinks are $10 and up. My flats and Syracuse cardigan don't seem to fit where I once had heels and handbags. I wonder if my fanciness has dimmed or if I just need to wipe the smudges off my designer shades to see more clearly. 

I step out of the car to a feeling of heat I had lost somewhere between August and the 18 degree cold the night before I left Syracuse. Could it be that I was really wearing a summer dress while friends at home were brushing snow off their cars after spending 10 minutes donning adequate clothing to brace the cold?

Sometimes, I really do love LA. Home or not.


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