driving dazed from our last week in philly, for seven hours i am lulled by the neon GPS screen–we are driving in a video game, dark surrounds the windows, our route is highlighted in pink. ryan says he’s played this one before. the dips, the bridges.
(the GPS has already improved our relationship 5,000-fold. now if i cold only cut the wire between emotion and logic everything would be perfect! and i would be a sociopath!)
(i haven’t given up yet.)
we arrived in cambridge after midnight. first stop, new womb–melissa matsubara’s apartment.
melissa, my beloved friend from iolani–the girl who cooked my family full meals including mini-vase-and-flower adornments after my father had a stroke; who first braved NYC with me, 18 years old and from hawaii kai, we were so trusting; who drifted with me, down north shore streams, side-by-side through massachusetts college days, drifted apart eventually, melissa in turkey, italy, australia, chile. i’m always somewhere else. we don’t keep in touch well; there’s no guilt nesting beneath our friendship. we know who we are to each other, and to me, melissa will always have the same rank in my heart, even if we don’t speak for years. melissa, the girl who sent me her warmest sweater to survive my bulgarian winters. effortlessly thoughtful. she knows what matters, what doesn’t. i don’t deserve the people who love me.
so: when i see melissa, i know everything will be okay. melissa–the girl who gives us her bed. fully-clothed in our jeans and sweaters, we crawl into white feathered down heaven. finally somewhere. but mati–impossibly restless in this new room, without her place, having spent seven hours on my lap, front seat crammed, bags under my feet, $85 ergonomic pillow at my knees, books and ramen scattered across the dashboard. all this exhaustion, but mati can’t sleep, wants to jump out melissa’s high windows, burrows under her bed, pants, whines, yelps and shakes and i consider slipping an ambien up her ass because i am just that tired.
favorite frantic leaving scene:
realize most of our possessions will not fit in the car.
trash blankets, clothes, towels, food.
on the street, give away the television. the microwave. the printer. we are strangers’ new best friends.
after much deliberation, my spice collection goes to the mailman.
then, i throw away the ramen.
“YOU CAN’T THROW AWAY THE RAMEN?!! Are you crazy?”
finally, here at melissa’s, mati calms, and we all drift. a handful of hours later, up again from our catatonic half-sleep, ryan, mati and i walk from lechmere to harvard along the charles river, discussing the best way to embrace our inner retard (answer: give it a helmet). there is something perfect about cold sun and leaves singing with yellow, sailboats and brick bridges. everything is always so much more beautiful than it used to be.
(ryan: “sometimes your writing is so writery and gay.”
jenn: “get out of my blog, asshole!”)
i share with ryan the joy of pinocchio’s subs in a sunny corner of steps across from weidner library.harvard students seem like children to me now, zigzagging on asphalt paths, class to library to dorm.i remembered when i thought i mattered too. i never thought i’d come back this way, with a bulgarian street dog and hawaiianryan in tow, homeless, getting closer and closer to centered as i get further and further away from everyone else’s map.
i am thankful for it all. it is november, and i am still warm.