One of the most surreal and wonderful and terrifying things about coming home has been how little things have changed, how easy it is to fall back into old roles. The girls in my life have almost all disappeared into the suburbs with toddlers, but other than that it’s eerily the same. Since my winter clothes are all in Istanbul, I’m even wearing hodgepodges of clothes I left behind, dresses of a younger self. Ridiculous shenanigan days with Phil where we eat at least a week’s worth of calories and drink beer and watch comedy specials on teevee until I fall asleep on the couch are much the same as they were when I was younger and my body was rather more forgiving of those activities. CF is still the ridiculous human being. MM is still MM. Sometimes I’ll look around at a football watching party and my eyes will get a little teary, sittin there between two of my favorite men in the world, one of whom has just made a very ancient joke about my butt being so big it’s blocking the sun, one of whom just replayed an ancient argument about why I can’t hold onto keys that made me laugh til tears streamed down my face, or I’ll be playing rummy with MM while snow falls outside and he’s making me listen to some intellectual music with no words before he puts on Fleetwood Mac, and I think, it wouldn’t be so bad to just stay here? Would it? Forever?
Find a job? Find an apartment within reasonable walking distance of tampons, bread and milk? Have shenanigan days with Phil twice a month? Play more rummy with MM? Let Chris pick on me? Go to parties where I’ve known all the people there for 15 years?
It would be easy.
In many ways the sheer normalcy of my social life here gives me the terrifying feeling that I never left, that I am in fact still 30, and Istanbul was a dream, and I have to go check my facebook photos and my twitter feed to confirm that no, I was really there.
But then whenever I run into someone at a party, I ask what’s new, what have I missed? With depressing frequency I get the answer, “Not much. Same (job house husband wife commute season tickets dog)” “Nothin new? Nothin new at all?” “Not really.”
And I remember that while that kind of un-rocked boat life once appealed to me, I was never very good at it, and I never ever want to let four years pass without some grand adventure. (Maybe not quite as grand as the last couple, though.)
I can hardly wait to go adventuring with all of you.