On The Familiar And The Strange


It’s a wonder really. How adaptable we are. No matter how foreign something is at first, in days, weeks, it relegates itself to a certain normalcy. I spend a week in one place and I know its rhythm, its measure, how it rises and falls at certain hours and when to cross the street. Oddities and smells, sounds become something like familiar, folded into the person I am becoming. A person who has had this time. We collect places like people and develop in the dark because of them. 

I can see how some people might fall so in love with a life like this, forgive and forsake whatever they believed they were meant to do before. This is the kind of island people never leave. It opens up and swallows you and you forget where you came from. Forget you ever came here at all. 

But there are days I miss home, hours that are flush with it and force me to take a walk. It’s a good kind of hurt, you know I’d never turn away from something like that. It feels now sewn into my time here. 

In the mornings I wake up for sunrise and watch the roof top tiles change colors. The smell of the market still makes me stop. The sound of roosters feels comforting. The smell of incense non existent now, blended and worn away into everything else. I worry I’ll stop seeing everything. Worry that the turmeric flowers and the golden gilded moss covered statues could ever normalize. Maybe that is why people keep going. 

In the process we adopt new ways to talk about ourselves, to see ourselves, backdrops and dinners alone, and the same song plays over the stereo everywhere you go. Later, there will be a lot of this in the writing. You’ll talk about it like something that laced itself into your curls and how the hot nights alone were a kind fever that made you see clear again. You never forget why you came here in the first place.  

You also learn, there are seven different ways to miss someone. At least. 

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