I’ve always looked outside a window, my whole life has consisted of me reaching yonder whether it be at a tangible ledge, through literary vehicles or even American cable. Jean Rhys said, “It’s strange growing up in a very beautiful place and seeing that it is beautiful.”I’m sure if you ask anyone from an exotic land, they’d relate to that statement in some way. It is simply all you know, typical and sedentary. Green and more green, but i was convinced the green was greener somewhere else. I’ve never fully appreciated my origins, i watched my fellow native friends and family embrace all it’s offerings, complain about it’s defects but still find a root in the loam while i just winged; about the heat, clothing options and limited modern offerings. It felt like i was never quite slipping into the mold, i was etched with a slight error preventing a clean fit.
So i tried to escape and when i couldn’t physically; i read. Jean also said “reading makes immigrants of us all,” and i was sneaking over many lettered borders in my youth. I was thoroughly engrossed by the idea of meadows and tall trees with rounded leafy caps and clean, even sidewalks. I preferred cleaner visuals, not so raw and untamed as my sub-tropic habitat. I liked the idea of being high up, within a cluster of city lights. Funny, in my last relationship we lived in such a place. I’d crawl up over the bed while he slept and stare out the window overlooking the urban twinkle. There are small moments in your life where you are full in it’s absoluteness, you see with clarity and hear it roar even in the quiet. All senses engaged. These moments have a permanence in your memory, searing like a branding iron. It remains, i can see it now. It’s these flavors i longed for as a child and throughout my adolescence. My bind to Trinidad became a passive obligation, like a failing relationship. There was so much i deeply loved about it but we couldn’t work, we needed time apart. I had to play the field elsewhere.
Leaving was sweet, no bitterness. I missed the familiar but when first staring up at the glassy titans looming over me, i felt a skip on the inside, i finally enjoyed myself and all my island nuances. In an alien world i was prouder and more accepting of my birthplace, my heart grew fonder miles away. It’s strange and difficult to explain the rush of the unfamiliar and how it awakens. I wonder if such a reaction is what addicts feel after the initial hit, all i knew was i needed more. More stomping of feet and whoosh of train cars, more fervor, energy and current. That’s the thing about starting somewhere small, the view is wider and more visible beyond the wall. You are required to be fully aware of the elephants to your mouse. I fell in love with all my elephants, i was desperate to reach their heights. I moved from city to city within my twenties, i settled everywhere and anywhere. I built lives and retreated, leaving them behind. I loved and lost and loved again. Then it stopped. The skip inside that became a steady hum just, halted. I returned to the habitat like a faithful fowl, despite my protests and anguish. I’d fallen out of the sky like Dorothy returning home except i was furiously clicking my heels back to Oz. But where do i belong? It’s this idea of belonging that has rattled me since i’ve been back in the salty air, do i belong here? It doesn’t feel that way sometimes, but really where does anyone belong? Are we promised to a love, an idea or a destiny? I’m warming to the belief that i have belonged everywhere i’ve been for different reasons and those reasons are tied to my destiny. A destiny i intend to create for myself based on all the searching i’ve tallied and belonging i’ve done. Wherever that may be. But, i’m not done yet.
This mouse is bored.