I am reporting from within the confines of my ancestral home in The Poconos, visiting zee familia for an unexpectedly generous amount of time, tracing back over the events of this past week.
Last Tuesday, my Bearded Companion and I packed our bags, donned brightly-colored raincoats, and headed into the afternoon, and New Jersey. Our plan was this: to travel from our bright white room in Brooklyn to Erik‘s house in Rumson for the evening, and then to Huntingdon the next day for Dirtfest, and a brief look at our old home. Some number of lazy days later, Ken and I left, driving across the center of the state where I was eventually left just outside of town limits, in the White Haven Wawa parking lot.
I left Jake in Huntingdon, where he belongs, where we all belong. I am lonesome. It’s the summer now.
Here are cats about our trip.
It was, and is always strange to stay in our old apartment building. Since moving out of apartment #6, we’ve stayed with Evan— who is perhaps the best ever– a couple of times, and now Jake is living in the under-renovation #2, aka The Ghost Apartment. (#6 is currently filled with good people– the ones who lived there before we did, actually. Huntingdon is like that.) In any case, no matter where I live, I am always hungry for and hoping to receive mail. On this particular vacation, I walked through the door of 418 as I so often did, and glanced at the floor where the mailboxes are. On this occasion, I actually got mail. We moved out last July. (Huntingdon is like this.)
I was having a recent conversation about how, in New York, there are many places I like to go, maybe things I like to do. But in Huntingdon, every alleyway, sidewalk, tree and little cat lawn flag outside of every quiet, quaint house is imbued with meaning. I am reminded of rememory (thank you Judy Katz and Toni Morrison), and I am feeling it real hard on this night, in my last hour of being 23, 150 miles from my favored Companion.
In Beloved, Morrison writes,
Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But … Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it’s gone, but the place—the picture of it—stays, and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don’t think it, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened…that place is real. It’s never going away. Even if the whole farm—every tree and glass blade of it dies. The picture is still there and what’s more, if you go there—you who was never there—if you go there and stand in the place where it was, it will happen again; it will be there for you, waiting for you.