I don’t write much about my home situation anymore, but it’s not because I’m not happy. Quite the opposite. It just started to feel more and more invasive to write about the daily goings-on of my community. I moved from the observer stage to the participant stage. Any anthropologist will tell you that a loss of objectivity dulls your argument (but a good anthropologist might tell you that it makes you better at your job). Anyway, since there’s a baby in the house who is actively becoming a person, it felt weird to capture that growth. The facts? She's two, knows more Spanish than I do, is funny, her favorite color is purple, and she’s really into dinosaurs right now.
Going back to your Gulf Coast hometown after a long time is weird, a little uncomfortable, especially in the middle of a highly politicized pandemic. Things look the same; they look different. Buildings you grew up in became Panera Breads or are abandoned altogether. Your childhood home is still yellow but is covered in the green mold your mother pressure washed off every summer. There are more broken shells on the beach than you remember. It’s weird to be a Southerner who’s become a Northerner in so many ways.
My grandfather's jaw is locked / into the smoothness of my chin / a mechanism that helps me chew / the fat at Christmas
Until I was about eight, I thought my grandpa was a Spaniard. This may have had something to do with him looking a lot like Antonio Banderas in Zorro, but probably had more to do with the fact that I couldn’t understand a single fucking word he said. And like most kids who grow up in Florida, the only other language you are even a little bit aware of was Spanish. Meaning: that when he talked and I couldn’t understand him, I thought he was speaking Spanish.
I’ve resolved to be more prolific, like the old days when writing every day wasn’t such a chore. Hard to say what that looks like, but I think sticking to some sort of posting schedule is probably the way to go. This year has been hard in more ways than one and getting myself to work has sometimes been impossible. Despite what my therapist says, I don’t want to use the pandemic as an excuse to not write. 2020 will not crush me, I won’t allow it.
My littlest sister braids her Barbie’s hair / in the middle of her room, and brings up / some cogent questions: I understand / the sun will burn out, but I need to know / what’ll happen to our vampires.
It's funny how quickly we bond, to the point that we get so used to life together that it seems impossible to live any other way. The Bond House is a place where that happens with some regularity. When we got started in early 2018, there were 8 of us: 8 strangers who agreed that living in a totally-not-haunted house was a good idea. We were the ones who put the House's heart together, helped shape it into what it is now, and have become closer than many people are with their own families. Now our rooms are full, but the cast is different. Most of the original 8 are gone now, or are permanently traveling, and I have to say that it's hard. Even harder still is that this original number dwindles still. Theresa is leaving today.
After ten minutes out in the fresh air this morning, my fingers are numb. It's that time of year in Boston where it can be perfectly pleasant one day, but bone-chilling the next. Luckily, with the holidays coming to an end, the House is warmed by the return of housemates from far and wide. We end the year as we began it: together.
It's been a while. Life has this strange habit of going fast and slow all at once, a sort of wormhole effect that you don't realize you're in the middle of until you're halfway through your third ill-advised Wednesday cider and find yourself wondering how the hell it's nearly December. The last few months in the Bond House haven't been uneventful, but between travel, events, and the sweet beginnings of seasonal depression, I've been apathetic towards writing. In fact, it took me over a week to write this. But that's my problem, not yours. Just like my daily decision of whether or not to wear my heavy winter coat or to punish my body for a few more weeks so the cold doesn't destroy my soul--my problem, not yours.
When I was growing up, I had no idea that people traveled in August. Where I'm from, vacations happen in June and people spend their time on a beach without sunscreen. It wasn't until last year when I went to Paris did I become aware that entire cities basically shut down so people can escape the heat for a few weeks and unwind. What a concept. This past long and lonely August, the Bond House may as well have been France.