Have you ever played the game of trying to catch your reflection by surprise? Sometimes, without meaning too I’ll win. I’ll catch my reflection by surprise and see myself for a split second. The person who’ve I’ve morphed into after twenty-one years of taking breaths looks back at me wide eyed and shocked. It’ll be a brief moment where the realization hits that I am this person, this body that moves and speaks, most of the time without thinking. In thoery I know that I constantly changing, that every new exprience plays a role into who I become within seconds. It’s a bit chilling to think of how fast a change can occur.
I haven’t come home in almost a year. Which means there have been an unthinkable amount of seconds that have occured while I was away but when I got off that that plane, it was still home. I had an expectation that I would feel out of place. That maybe there had been to much change at home and with me that left me standing outside the door. Even while I was bording the plane in Atlanta to California I felt uneasy. Characters were forming inside my head, my own personal animated flim, of gaurds standing at LAX calling me an imposter. There were no guards. And the airport was what I remembered it to be.
Outside the wind was blowing. In Midtown sometimes when the wind picks up, it almost feels like home, but the whispers that linger are different. They are different enough that I know I am far from the streets I know. It’s probably a difference I’ve created in my head. Cars should sound the same everywhere right? But driving on freeway through the L.A. and on the highway through Atlanta sound different, feel different.
L.A. seems to go on forever. The skyscrapers and buildings meet the sunset half way. The heat blends into the wind and carries itself through cracks and rest on the skin. Grim, dirt, and trash fill the streets. Typically L.A. is conveyed as a beautiful paradise. Growing up I know it for the reality of it’s poverty, it’s pollution. L.A. is beautiful because it stands in the middle of the desert and shines through the dirt we have covered it in.
Each year I went to a different school, up until High School and because of that I always believed that home was never gonna be a place for me. For me home would be people. And it is. My best friends know it. They are my shelter from storms and fires that claim the darkest corners of my head. But I fooled myself into thinking that California wasn’t also my home. Stepping off the plane and standing once again in California I could feel my cells regerating. I needed to come home. There was an urgeness that had been itching scars into my artiers that began to heal while we drove through the houses of brown hues and red tones.
Seeing a catus again was funny. I’d almost forgotten how much of a desert Southern California really is. I’d began to remember it only of the popular images of blue and whites that came from single blocks of beach land that don’t began to encompass everything that is California.
Coming home after being away was winning the game of catching my reflection by surprise ten fold. I got to see myself standing beside the cities and landscapes that sculpted me. A mirror meet me at the gate and I was forced to look into it. I am this person. I am this body that speaks and moves without thought or to much thought. I am a collection of the grim and dirt and blues with whites.