There’s that old saw that you can never go home again. Turns out you can. You can slip back into your old life like pulling on a pair of old, warn comfy pyjamas.
The cognitive dissonance is fading a bit, but my first thirty six hours back in Baltimore were surreal. Like looking, again, through stacked slides that are just a wee bit different.
My first night I insisted on going to the Club Chuck for champagne cocktails. Same bartender, Jeremy, was working, as he has been since I was a wee little girl hoping no one would check my ID.
“Wonderful to see you, darlin! And congrats on the nuptials. So sorry I missed it!”
“Oh don’t apologize for that. What can I get you?”
And then I tried to order a champagne cocktail in Turkish.
I stood outside the Hamilton Tavern last night. Nothing on Harford Road has changed. Was I even away? Was Turkey a dream?
Today I went out for a motorcycle ride with a fella who’s been taking me out for motorcycle rides for nearly half my life. We had to pick up the bike from his folks’ house. His mom was there- unchanged at all- and plied me with cake and iced tea and said,
“Well it’s just great to see you, hon. Don’t stay away so long next time. Marc, are you bringing her to Taylor’s birthday party?”
Trees are a revelation, here. There is so much SPACE in Maryland. We saw a heron. It was, as we’ve been joking between ourselves for nearly two decades, “bucolic as fuck.”
On the other hand, as I proved the other night, you can walk for 40 minutes down a main thoroughfare in Baltimore and not run into a single bus or taxi.
Everyone accepts that as natural.
Tonight I’m going to the same old rock club. The one that, cause when I was an itty bitty girl I briefly dated the sound guy, I helped paint.
My Baltimore life was waiting for me, it turns out. Nothing has changed. Well, Brendan finally cut his hair, but other than that.
So- where should I kick up my heels next?