Monday, July 4, 2011
Trying to Return Home
Author Thomas Wolfe is probably best known for the quote, “You can’t go home again.” He went onto write a book by this name also. Of course, people often ridiculed the quote stating they could go home again. They knew exactly where they lived. They could return to their childhood home, especially if their parents still lived in it.
The point he was trying to make is you can’t reach that nostalgic place called home. Remember that perfect place with carefree summers, laughter, and innocence. You can’t go there because you know too much. Remember how we couldn't wait to grow up. Often counting our age by years and months to hurry the process up. There comes a time with our quest for knowledge taints all that went before. Rather like my first pair of glasses.
Before I had glasses, everything had a smooth surface. After glasses, I discovered people had wrinkles, pimples, and scars on their formerly flawless faces. Tree leaves had veins. Mountains had rocky outcroppings and ominous cracks. Pigs had tiny hairs all over their bodies. It was an entirely different world.
Recently, I went to an REO SPEEDWAGON concert with my significant other. This was his dream to attend as a teen. Since it was an outdoor venue, we dressed in bermudas, sandals, and sunglasses, looking like the mid-age professional couple we were. We soon realize we had entered an alternative universe where people were attempting to return to their seventies home.
All around me, women strolled in their glittery shirts and over processed blonde hair reminding me of all the 70’s clothes I had since sold at numerous yard sales. I felt obvious with my colorful Coach purse that shouted ESTABLISHMENT. The men managed to dig out their faded black REO t-shirts and their tight jeans that involved sucking in the gut to zip them up. Lucky for them their child fathering days were in the past. They were all trying to return to a time when they were young and their worst problems involved a date or a flat tire.
Many, or I should say most, drank heavily. Seats by the bar allowed me to monitor the same people returning numerous times. Maybe alcohol could jumpstart their trip back to the world before it became complicated with children, mortgages and pink slips. It didn’t do anything for their singing or dancing skills. Often, the memory and body will betray us when we try to travel home.
As for me, did I go hoping to find a piece of the 70’s? No. Because REO was not on my personal adolescence playlist, instead I was a disco queen. A little Rod Stewart, Donna Summers, or even Abba might have caused me to dance in the aisles too. Who knows? My SO did point out that my high pony tail reminded him of the 70’s.
Can you go back home? You tell me.