It’s Been A Long Time Since 22

3 Feb

The Boy is currently in the U.S. of A. My old home. The one of mixed feelings and an avalanche of memories. The one I gift-wrapped my twenties for and offered with all the good faith only a 22-year-old who’s never left home can muster. The one that flung me in the air, picked me up, let me down, set me free, tied me forever. And four years after I left on that flight from Logan, I plead the same pointless questions on repeat: How is it there, tell me… How is it, the vibe… How is it, the feeling… How same, how different… knowing full well that my former Europe-dweller can only see it with the eyes of a frequent visitor while I crave a resident’s perspective. Specifically, my own.

You see, it’s not as simple as buying a ticket and hopping across the pond. Some things are like the unclaimed parcel you know not to touch. So you may wonder, and hanker, but leave well enough alone. And ask questions about the weather and the food and how many pairs of shoes he’s getting you. While you sneak onto Mapquest and roll the names of New Jersey townships off your tongue. Parsipanny, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill. Moorestown,Trenton and Belle Mead. Signboards from another lifetime, because hey, you were an upstate New Yorker, hicktown Pennsylvanian, too-proud Bostonian and Jersey’s for the desis with their H4 wives. And then you listen to John Mayer singing this

(via MM) and something forbidden unfurls deep inside and you know the marshland has begun and you’re one foot in.

The Boy comes back late tonight. And I’ll ooh and aah over my shopping list. But all I’ll be wondering is how it is there… tell me… How is it, the vibe… How is it, the feeling…. How same, how different… And some part of me will be glad not to know.

15 Responses to “It’s Been A Long Time Since 22”

  1. Anjali February 3, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    The pain, the curiosity, the longing is very palpable. In some way, it reminds me of the poem One Art in the film In Her Shoes.

  2. Girlonthebridge February 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    I didn’t know you were next door in jersey! We couldve been friends 😦 loved this post
    I know the feeling of longing coupled with just thar much detachment. Heard of Bombay?

  3. D February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    You can never step into the same river twice, remember?

  4. DewdropDream February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    As they say, sometimes the mystery is better than the knowing.

  5. Orange Jammies February 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Anjali: Perhaps I’ve mastered the art. But back then, and maybe even now, it was disaster.

    Girlonthebridge: I wasn’t. Read again. 🙂

    D: Step, maybe not. Drown, certainly.

    DewdropDream: Touche.

  6. dipali February 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    Don’t worry about not knowing, and enjoy all the stuff he gets for you! Material pleasures do count, you know!!!

  7. sukanya February 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    beautiful OJ…some tihings are better not known.

  8. Girlonthebridge February 5, 2010 at 4:21 am #

    I misunderstood? Confused 😦

  9. the snowed-in girlfriend February 5, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    OJ darling,
    what’s to be proud of in boston? the massholes on the road (their phrase not mine:), the ancient transport system, the minus 22 degree celcius weather in winter (seriously!), the all-white population ( except for civilized cambridge) and the ridiculous rents?
    i know it’s better than hicksville usa, but phooey give me bombay or new york anyday!!!
    hope you’re having a fun reunion with the boy, talk soon na

  10. Orange Jammies February 5, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    dipali: 😆 I’ll keep that in mind.

    sukanya: Perhaps.

    Girlonthebridge: We’ll put it down to sleep dep. 😉

    the snowed-in girlfriend: Plenty, if you know where to look. It’s the oldest part of the country, ergo relatively historical, has a vibrant cultural life, is the most fabulous place to be in the Fall, and is surprisingly diverse (huge Indian, Brazilian and Cambodian populations, for starters.) It’s unlikely you will discover all this if you’re stuck on campus without personal transport, though, which is probably why New York is easier for you. Give me quaint old Beantown over the blinding monstrosity that is Gotham city any day. It won’t offer itself to you on a platter, but has hidden gems you’d be hard put to find elsewhere. 🙂 Yes, the Boy is back. And it feels gooooood.

  11. the snowed-in girlfriend February 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    The beauty, I’ll give you ( and yes, glorious glorious Fall)- as also the interesting cultural and intellectual life… biased about the ‘history’, it obviously doesn’t compare to a lot of europe or India…if only we could do so something about the people, Beantown would be so much more bearable…still, to each his/her own and there’s far worse places to be stuck in than harvard- the libraries and museums alone make it worth it!
    why don’t you come visit and we can argue about this in person, ideally over chocolate and margaritas:)?

  12. Orange Jammies February 6, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    the snowed-in girlfriend: Nein, nein. I must make friends with the history in Europe now, no?

  13. Piper.. February 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    🙂 back after a long,long time..How`ve you been OJ?

    Incidentally, I`ve just returned after a whirlwind trip to Boston and I couldnt help but comment.
    Like someone once said, Boston is a state of mind.. 🙂

  14. Orange Jammies February 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Piper: Hey you! I’ve been good, and you? How is old beantown?


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