reluctant homesickness

So that was the longest I’ve been in San Francisco since I had moved away, and also the longest I’ve done nothing at all on the Internet except check my email quickly on a really crappy free connection which was worth every penny, and both things are either equally disorienting, or have combined forces to create a new and magnificent level of disorientation such that my head doesn’t feel like it is on quite straight. On Sunday, the longing for everything to be normal and regular and quiet, to have Internet and E and my cat (not in that order, I don’t think) was overwhelming. The urge to call back for my things and have them all shipped (including my wireless router, E, and my cat) was stronger than it has been in a long time. I was homesick but also sick at the thought of leaving.

It was an astonishing week. I spent two days with K.T. and her two-month old. I propped little Tee up on my knees and she stared at me in wonder and I stared back at her in awe, and then she wobbled her head and looked at my left earlobe in bewilderment, and then she was puzzled by my chin and sort of listed over to the side and found much to consider in the couch cushions, and I cannot even tell you how spectacular it was, this weird little unfocused, amazed, confounded and lovely little human who keeps screwing up her forehead and concentrating very hard on becoming herself.

Then, the wedding festivities, which were absolutely overwhelming,
began. Something every night, and me, delighted with the chance to
dress up in a way I haven’t in many, many ages, a different dress every
night, and heels ranging from the dangerous to the deadly in height. A
chance to wear makeup! A chance to make sparkling small talk and be
delighted and delightful! A chance to drink more wine in three days
than I have in eight months! What is not to love?

Bachelorette party, welcome reception, rehearsal dinner on an entire
island that was rented out especially for us and our amusement, and
dinner under the water. A big crab and then a little one, swinging
several times around our porthole barnacle, so that ours was the most
popular table all night. Then suddenly, it is the wedding that we’ve
been thinking about and talking about and planning and excited for, for
weeks and months and ages and years, and it is just two hours away, an
hour away, we’re running late, we’re a little early! And the doors
opened up and it was as beautiful as we knew it would be, at the Great
American Music Hall. A bluegrass band, all of us lined up in our seats,
bouncing our knees, wishing we could see them, already. Iggy appearing
on stage, the family walking up the aisle, and then our stunningly
beautiful friend beaming all the way up to the front of the room. It’s
a cliché to say radiant and blooming and glowing and joyful and append
it to the word “bride,” but oh, she was and it was, and they held hands
and spoke to each other so sincerely and with so much love it made you
catch your breath and be glad you got to witness.

And then the food, the dancing, the toasts, the wine turns to whiskey,
the Soul Train line, and the shuttle back to the hotel was there too
early to whisk us away and we rode back and rode up the elevator and
there was a real sense of both loss and relief, a feeling that it was
unfair that this week, this event, was over, coupled with a staggering
sense of homesickness, a wish that E had been able to come with me,
that I could have leaned my head on his shoulder during the vows and
the slow dances, that he was still so far away and I didn’t want to
leave but there’s no way I can do anything but, as soon as possible.
The fact that I have a return ticket anyway notwithstanding, of course.

Monday, breakfast at
our favorite café, hugging my Shawn goodbye. Oysters and sharp white wine at the ferry building, and then a ride the BART to
the airport, my head down over my book because I didn’t want to think
too hard about leaving, this jumble in my belly that was confused and
happy and longing and wondering what exactly it is I want and how
quickly I can get it. So glad to get home. Still had to close my eyes as we took off and circled above the city
and headed back east.

3 Replies to “reluctant homesickness”

  1. that’s why all the songs about leaving your heart there and wearing flowers and it being so pretty are all written. I find myself in tears every time the plane takes off. I always try to remember that visiting and walking and having fun is more awesome than actually living there in a Mission basement apartment, paying the rent, trying to park or ride muni, et cetera.

    it’s a charming place, though, so it always makes me forget that I ever wanted to leave, ever.

  2. I can only imagine, since I’ve never moved away for a man, how torn you must feel to have your guy and the city you most love occupying two different zip codes. I’m glad you had such a lovely trip, but I can certainly understand how bittersweet it was to leave. Hopefully someday you and E will find a city together, a place new to both of you, a place that will for each of you be the Best City Ever. And SF can always be a favorite vacation destination—like NYC, right??

  3. I….don’t…get it. I live about 20 miles south of SF and I HATE having to go to the city for any reason. It’s dirty, it’s crowded, there’s nowhere to park, everything is overpriced. I hate it. You can’t stand still for five seconds without crackheads swarming around you. Everything is up hill. You can’t turn left. You have to go to San Rafael to make a U-turn. I could go on and on.. I guess those are problems will all major cities. At least we have good sourdough.

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