Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pictures of Home

Back at work today, though I probably shouldn't be. My chest still makes that ooey-gooey sound when I cough or laugh. Actually, I'm leaving early so I can go to the doctor. Maybe she can give me something to make my boo-boo all better.

I got a nice piece of news this morning though: I may be going back to the US again in the spring! On someone else's dime! I'm excited!!

In these times of financial calamity and associated disasters, maybe this is the best way for me to go back home: as a tourist. A business-traveler, frequent flyer zombie. The truth is, the longer I live in Vienna, the more a trip to the US will begin to feel like a trip to Pluto. But nobody has mentioned this to my heart.

So I'm happy. Working in DC for a week would mean eating amazing Ethiopian food, picking up some good books, and swimming in English, the sweet, profane jarbled-up and slanged out language of my life. And that would be okay.

I do think of Vienna as home, in a way. But in another, less laugh-out-loud sort of way, I think of the US as home. And always will.

But where bexactly in the US is "home" for me? Austin, where I grew up, ate jalapenos as a rite of passage, and got my heart good and broke for the first time? NYC, where I got slick, ate rock CD's as a rite of professionalism, and got my heart broke in a less laugh-out-loud sort of way? Seattle, where I discovered the most ironic pinball arcade in the country? Los Angeles, where I "hung out" with punk and hip hop stars, and otherwise lived like an expense account king? South Dakota, where we buried my father? Or was home for me truly the back of an Econo-line van, wedged in between the drum kit and the guitars, where I lay, furiously scribbling too many adjectives into a notebook just like the one I'm writing in today?

Home is all of those places and none of those places. In other words, home is just an idea. Home is old times, good times, a lost world. I can't go back there.

I am sure I'd like to go shopping, stuff my face and even maybe see some old friends in the USA. That would be so fucking...fun.


Jennifer said...

Pat, when you go back to the US...depending on how long it has been...you'll feel like you have super-powers. You know how to do everything there. It's weird. It's also incredibly big and all the news is about celebrities you've never heard of. Pluto. Yes. With super-powers.

Ed Ward said...

I'll be in Austin for much of March. Just sayin'.

pat said...

Funny point, Jennifer. Think I know what you mean. Thanks!
And, Ed, that's good to know. I could tack on a trip down Texas way, but I have to sort things out with all my best girls first. I'll give a holler if I'm Austin bound!

Jim said...

"Home is all of those places and none of those places." My sentiments exactly. I don't really have a "home," per se. I spent half of my life in Germany, parts of that in London. But I've always felt more at home in the United States. Despite some of its flaws, LOL. Home is where you feel happy. If you feel happy it doesn't matter what place you call home.

Kat said...

Hope you get to come to Texas! We would so love to see you and introduce you to the boy. Can we lure you with salsa? breakfast tacos? sunsets? a new baby Collier?

Of course, it would be even cooler to see your whole crew sometime...

pat said...

No such luring required Kat--I'd love to see you all. But it's not a done deal that I'm even coming to DC yet, so let's let's see if I can swing re-entry into the US first, then we'll get down to planning bagels or breakfast tacos, such as my choices may be.....Thanks for the invite!