19/04/2010 § 1 Comment
You can’t go home again, quoth Thomas Wolfe, at least through his title to a book that I have never read but assume is about the impossibility of returning to a life once lived. Humans will forever live in nostalgia. It is our gift and curse because it propels us forward whilst holding us still.
Last night, I had a moment while relishing post-tango-spicy-beef-empanadas, playing Chancho! — Pig — and sipping on Sprite: I am going home.
When you tell an Argentine you are going home, the immediate question to follow is: “So, when are you coming back?” half expecting the answer to be: “Soon.” My answer, over and over, has just been: “One day.” That way, I don’t have to make any near-future promises. The truth is, I’ve got some more growing to do and it’s going to take a lot of uncomfortable situations to actualize it.
I have spent my entire life moving around from city to suburb to butt-fuck-nowhere to small town to city to bedtown to one of the largest cities in the world. Although adverse to change, I accept it as a chance to start fresh, a clean slate, shed the painful memories and hold onto the good times. However, I have never had to endure the return to pain before. I am not going to run away this time, I am going to face it head on.
What strikes me as odd and comforting is that Toronto is the only place to which I continuously return. The first time I moved back to the city was with my family when I was 18 years old. I had been absent for 15 or so years. I felt like I was starting fresh — I didn’t have any prior friends, I had already graduated high school, I didn’t have memories of living in the city. Wiped clean.
The second time I returned to the city was for love. I didn’t have any friends because I was really bad at making them the first trip back. I had no attachments to a job, I was starting a new school and the boy I was with was enough for me. I left my friends in Guelph, but they were only an hour away. Again, wiped clean.
This second time around was an amazing experience. I finished school, developed some passions, met some amazing people with whom I became incredibly close with, had a decent-paying job that helped me save some cash for travel, had a loving man, my family to hang-out with, etc. For most people, this would have been a kind of paradise, a utopia, but for me, my feet-started itching. It was approaching the 3-year mark and I hadn’t moved anywhere so I picked up my bags, took my savings and moved to Buenos Aires. Wiped clean.
Now, I am going back to the city for a third-time and there is the impossibility of a tabla rasa. There is a whole mess of dirty dishes leftover from a spaghetti-feast. Bolognese all over the place. Nevertheless, it is my choice whether to leave my dirty dish by the sink or to lick it clean.