28 August 2007

I’ve been in Boston for a few days now, and tomorrow my parents leave. I get to sleep in my bedroom, on my own bed, for the first time. The apartment is beginning to look like a home, at least my bedroom is. David will be here tomorrow, but I don’t think he’s staying the night yet.

As the time to move approached, people constantly asked, “Are you getting excited?” or something like it. Never failing, they were always surprised when I said “I guess.” The truth is, even though I’m here, it still hasn’t sunk in that I live in Boston. The closest I’ve come to realizing it was yesterday, looking up at the Boston Public Library. For a second I almost felt something rising up in my throat, something thick and heavy, something stopping in the center of my throat before sinking back down and taking the elusive feeling of home away with it.

Rachel will be here in a week, and I’m sure this place will feel like home one we’re in bed together.

Other than that, I’ve felt sort of numb. Ironically, maybe I’ve been too caught up in getting settled and making this city and apartment feel like home to really think about the fact that I now live in Boston.

* * *

Driving with my dad was interesting. I didn’t really learn as much about him as I hoped I would, although I did finally learn where he was born. We almost drove through the town, but it as out of the way and he didn’t want to drive to it since it was the middle of the night and we probably wouldn’t be able to see much anyways. I still don’t really know where he grew up, although I know there was a town in California that he said was swallowed by a larger town and doesn’t exist anymore. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of it, and I didn’t write it down because I didn’t want my dad to think I was interviewing him or that I had some sort of agenda while talking to him.

We talked about a lot of nonsense; we talked a little bit of sense, but mostly we stuck to nonsense. We joked about the unfortunate names of towns like Smelterville and Plainville. I have the same sense of humor as him, so he’s easy to get along with for me. That shouldn’t be surprising since he’s my dad and all, but after not really getting along with him for such a long time, I myself sometimes don’t believe it.

I listened to a lot of his Irish drinking songs and country folk music. While we talked about James Joyce, he explained Finnegan’s Wake and how the cyclical nature of the song shaped Joyce’s story, and I listened to his explanation for the 15th time or so. Then without warning, he began reciting the words to the song. My dad mumbles, and it’s usually pretty difficult to hear him, but while reciting the lines, he locked into a rhythm in no way similar to the song – which we listened to later – but one all his own, articulating the syllables and the words he felt were important. I got the impression he was trying to teach me something he felt was important.

18 August 2007


Back at my parents' house for a few days before leaving for Boston, staying in my old bedroom that isn't really my old bedroom. I always feel fat and lazy here no matter what I'm doing. The days have been clear, just the way I like it. On days like these you can see for miles and miles, and in every direction, mountains guard the horizon.

I have muddled thoughts on Oregon. Too muddled for a QWERTY keypad to make sense of.

09 August 2007

Unfinished Business

In less than two weeks I begin driving from Seattle to Boston, and in less than a month I begin graduate school in a creative writing program. I'm supposed to become a writer, I think. Normally, even if I don't write, I have these thoughts going through my head about weird situations that could crawl into my stories or characters I want to learn about and develop. I haven't had any of that for the past 2 months, since the end of Spring term. Even the instructor evaluation I'm supposed to write by the end of the month hasn't gone past the second sentence. Needless to say, I'm incredibly frightened about the upcoming months, all of it - the moving, the new place, new people, new city, new school, new life.

While packing up my apartment, I came across a number of journals I'd attempted to keep over the past few years. The first entry in every one is pretty much the same. It reads something along these lines: "I have to start a new journal now, because I feel like every new journal represents a new phase of my life." Ideally, that means I could take these journals and break them down into chapters and write a book about them right? Instead they read like a bunch of unfinished juvenile business. "Today I went to class. I like it." Or "Yesterday she gave me her love in the form of baked goods." Each book ends suddenly, with no declaration of a final entry. Instead I just start up something new, and - this is how I've felt with each change of scenery - never finishing the last thing.

Except now I've actually graduated from OSU, so at least I finished something right?

Today was also the last class of my TAship, the first classroom experience I've had as a pseudo-instructor. I guess I could say I finished that as well. As they were walking out of class, one of the students came up to me and said, "So you're going to be around during the term if we need help?"