I’m home. It feels incredible. Wasn’t it just a day ago that Irene had sent me off at JFK? She had came along with me until the final security checkpoint, where I had to go through the metal detector alone. I emerged on the other side, turned around to see her being escorted away by the security guard, and just like that, she was gone. The final link to my New York self was thus severed, I was alone, and suddenly I felt the entirety of the accumulation of heaviness I had been feeling since two blog posts ago, and I cried with the reluctance of a sleeper too attached to a sweet, sweet dream, who has now been awakened and is too regretfully aware of the unreal quality of the dream to return to it.
Free, or stripped, from all geographical identity associations, I assumed my core self, floating in the state between dream and wake. I watched no movies, but wrote and read and lived almost purely in my mind. I went through all three flights taking occasional naps, waking up from each nap to the increasingly ephemeral quality of the New York I was leaving, and the realism of home I was approaching.
The first thing I did, as soon as the plane touched down on my island, is to get my dad to drive over to XY’s house and crash her sleepover party. I jumped out of the car and abused her doorbell until she opened the gate, then ran to her and smothered everyone else in tear-filled hugs; they’re no longer pixels in a lousy Google Hangout, they’re real, my life here is real.
And then, finally, I’m really home. It’s almost as if I had never gone at all, except for the minute reminders that I haven’t been home for a while. Everything is exactly where I’ve placed them, except I’ve forgotten I’ve placed them there. I notice things that used to be negligible. The bed is firm. The hairdryer produces a noticeably different noise. The water pressure from the faucet is a little strong, the toilet seat is a bit high.
The weariness of traveling across oceans is sinking in on me now, and I’m going to have to give myself up to sleep, where I know it will claim the remaining morsels of this four-month dream. When I wake up, it’ll be as if I had never left my bed.