When I finally got back to my old residence in LA I anticipated some shock. Being out on the road, traveling from place to place meant there were no yesterdays. The state of my life for the past six months has been one of constant anticipation--a series of present and near-future moments endlessly rushing at me. I couldn't get my head around all that coming to an end. So I hatched a backup plan: DENIAL! In this instance that translated into not stopping. I planned on heading down to San Diego for a few days while I tried to get my head around what I was going to do next. Prior to that I collided with my former life.
I said at the beginning of the trip that when I left it was a suicide of sorts. That I knew I'd come back different. But I didn't really think about what would happen when my new self returned to the life of the old self. If the trip marked the death of previous me, my return meant I was a ghost returning to the past.
When I finally arrived 'home' I was confronted with four years of accumulated yesterdays. And each of those 'yesterdays' contained no small amount of memories. And each of those memories had mental events attached to them. I knew it'd be a bit of a tangled mess!
Take, for instance, the stairs. While living there, I never thought much about them except, "wow, these would hurt to fall down." But after not seeing them for so long memories of everything from trying to squeeze a king bed down them to sprinting up them, .45 in hand, after the front doors burst open in the middle of the night came flooding back.
The "Orange Surveillance Van" that I had named our wireless network after, just to fuck with our conspiracy-theory neighbors (the punchline was it was their van).
A lamp and a "Faust" painting that should always be inseparable:
Same goes for these:
And then there were a host of far more personal things, like the "Evil Cat" Quadtych I had drawn for my ex that brought far more than memories back:
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't pining away or sobbing on the bathroom floor (especially after seeing the Evil Cat fondling chickens and playing with matches). I wasn't struggling to find meaning in anything, nor was I wrapped around the 'what ifs' of the past. It was more profound than that and it took me until just now, staring at this paragraph, revising over and over, to isolate what I was experiencing: it was a reaction to the realization that actions and efforts may not ever be accumulative; there is a sequence and then the sequence stops. (Hmmm....maybe the only thing that does accumulate are experiences.) It wasn't regret that I was going through--it was the experience of hope lost.
The trees in the backyard that had been nearly destroyed by the Santa Ana winds (the same ones responsible for blasting the front doors open in the middle of the night) while we watched transformers explode from the balcony were now full and lush. Proof enough that life goes on and damage is rarely permanent.