Saturday, March 18, 2006

What Hurts the Most--Feeling Like I Can't Go 'Home'

I slept all day, letting my afternoon nap run long into the night, thinking that I would just sleep through until the morning and I could start fresh. Unfortunately, I woke up at 11pm and haven't been able to get back to sleep. I've been reading crime novels since then because I start to cry everytime I'm not busy because I think about you and your new girlfriend. The book I just started is set in St. Louis, which isn't really helping my mood.

As I think about you and your new girlfriend, I feel like I can't come back 'home'. To my hometown, St. Louis, where I was born, where my family gathers monthly, usually with a celebratory excuse, like a birthday. Since I've known you, when I was not living in St. Louis but only visit, seeing you was also a major reason for these visits. As you debate whether or not you will agree to see only me next Saturday, I realize that I haven't seen my grandparents since January, the last time I was there to visit you before you got your new girlfriend. I have passed up visits in between because I was afraid I would be unable to stop myself from acting in a stupid and stalker-ly fashion towards you and your girlfriend. But I also know that I can't let you take over the city that has been the closest thing to 'home' I have ever known. Even when my apartment was burglarized just before I turned 18, that was were I ran to seek comfort and security, when I did not feel secure anywhere else. And now I feel like that has been taken away from me. Your new girlfriend's family even lives in the same suburb where my grandparents live, where I was raised. It makes me sick to my stomach to imagine sitting at their kitchen table, attempting to celebrate, while you are somewhere in that same city, holding her. It makes me happy we did not hang out in that town alot, so that I know you can't share as many places with her, so that i know there might still be spots there in that suburb that are all mine, that you cannot give to her as well.

Yesterday or the day before, I watched a show on the food network where the chef Mario Batali, known for his Italian cuisine, traveled to different cities and highlighted their Italian specialties. Of course, he went to St. Louis and the Hill, to highlight toasted ravioli. I guess I never really realized that it is something you find only in St. Louis, but it seems to be. It made me think about all the places that will no longer be special to US but special to the two of you. I imagine, if given enough time together, you'll take her to every special place that you took me to, writing over all the memories that we made of those places together and replacing them with these new memories. Then, those memories will only be special to me. And I don't feel like I'll ever be able to go back to those places again, because I won't even see the memories that we made, I'll see the memories I imagine you making or imagine you have made there already with her.

I want my hometown back. But, like you, it seems it now belongs to her too.

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