you are here
You cannot take the measure of a place without experiencing it with your own senses. I do not know this place, not yet; I know bits and pieces of roads and intersections, and the interior of a gym rather well, and the photos on the walls of this house best of all. It's been a long time since I've done this sort of thing, traipsing cross-country to a place that I've never seen before in order to drop out of my life for a week or so at a time.
I've been disoriented.
There are photos on the walls here, photos of people I do not know and whose lives I have only the barest of intersections with. Noah, your photo sits in the front room, the butterfly perennially half-perched on the branch, the photo safely ensconced in the frame I found in Huntsville. It fits in here, better than I think either of us expected.
I have a list of things to do that seemed somewhat important while I was in Huntsville. I make no secret of my list-making tendencies; there is comfort in having options, even if one chooses not to exercise them. So far, I have chosen not to exercise them. Any of them, really. There is retail therapy to do and a lighthouse to see and instead, I find myself errant, drawn again and again to the comforting, well-lit couch in the front room, and the peaceful doze of a book read between nods of head.
Patrick wandered about last night, lighting candles against the storm that raged while we watched Buffy episodes. "Do you have lots of power outages here?" I asked. He nodded.
It is hard to pinpoint the differences here. Foliage. Trees. I am still fascinated by palm trees, and was surprised to learn that one must use a saw to trim the bottom section of the tree to keep it neat. I had just assumed they grew that way. The air is thick, humid; it reminds me of summers in Arkansas save for the subtle scent of water. Most of the time, I do not see the water, but every time I open the door, I can smell it. It hangs in the air in a way that I cannot describe, that from now on I suspect I will always associate with Florida.
The folk at the local YMCA have proven to be far nicer than any of the YMCA-related people I spoke with on the phone prior to the trip. I expected to be able to work out once here without paying a membership fee; instead, I wandered in with Patrick on my first morning here and ended up with a free guest pass for the entire duration of my stay. (I also ended up marooning my notebook at the front desk, but that's another story of my forgetfulness for another, lazier, day.)
I think I might get to the retail therapy this afternoon, if the errant sunbeam doesn't catch me as it did yesterday. Should it happen, I would not argue, but should it not, I will count my lazy afternoon well-spent, nevertheless. The world doesn't need me for a little while, and I find myself unwilling to do more than just check in periodically.
I'm here, and that is enough.