Displacement creates an odd sort of fuzz around the edges of the displaced.
She hears the murmurs and chatter of women chatting. They must be friends, or, at the very least, friendly, she assumes. They are, after all, sitting, conversing, and laughing all together in the same location that is, obviously, not the home of any one of them. From the tone, one would suspect a disagreement infiltrates the back-and-forth. The back-of-the-throat cacks and haucks in typical speech often times lends itself toward assumptions about hostility, disgust. As she has learned, however, that sound, which rings revulsion and loathing in her non-native ears, is all too common, really, serving no real purpose other than emphasis. The timber is, no matter, rather off putting. The group giggles. She sips a bit of too-hot vanilla latte and scalds her tongue, ruins the overall mouth feel. Numbed, at least she no longer feels the searing pain of the next sip.
Gratitude and incessancy both fuel the writing on the page.
A woman looks at her and says something. She looks blankly back at the woman. The woman says something that sounds similar to whatever was said only moments before. The woman points at a chair. She wants to know if this seat is taken, she thinks with regards to the way that the woman communicates. She shakes her head, shrugs, and smiles. The woman thanks her with a slight bow along with a look of relief and excitement and drags the chair away toward a different table. The typical western holiday season toward which the calendar so quickly turns, she would say, forces the foreignness out of this place she currently calls home. She inserts, however, that this place is not home home. The holidays are overkill, as she remembers, not so fondly, as she looks back on the life she used to live. The holidays, on the other hand, are nearly nonexistent here. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s not that the festivities of winter, which are equated to the most wonderful time of the year, do not exist; it’s that here, they don’t really know how to do it. The wintertime holiday simmers down into the idea of the thing when an idea is stripped down to mere aesthetics. In other words, if an idea is just an idea, then the idea of the thing without further knowledge being gained about why the thing is the way that it is births a trite, cheap, watered-down, commercial, humdrum, vacuous, explosion of waste. She doesn’t miss the holidays so much as she misses the idea of them, the warmth of this cold season that makes everything, the daily banality, magical, filled with wonder, joy and excitement in the hopes of receiving gifts, the tangible expression of love. Ha!
The vanilla is too sharp.
Good vanilla, she notes, hits the tongue with a sensation of warmth and subtlety, like the way longtime lovers, who are still madly in love, might hold hands or kiss gently on the cheek or embrace in a hug. No, not like the way lovers hug. Good vanilla is not that intense. It is, no matter, that satisfying. She needs to finish the beverage before she moves on to the next place on her list of life to live and things to do. Yes, she is far from home, but during the “holiday season,” home not only feels physically far away, but also, it feels inaccessible, a distant memory from her past that remembers being and desires to be a child in the world of the fantastic, rather than as an adult in the world of the real. The holidays, then, seem like a pastime for children, a childish activity whereupon all of the greatest things in life converge and culminate into this idea of the holidays that is simply being perpetuated by adults who long to be children again, experiencing the magic of the season, and when these adults have children, they pass along this experience that ultimately leaves a child, once grown into an adult, feeling empty hollow, meaningless.
The vanilla bites again.
Coffee, she soon realizes, is another thing that this place does not do well, unless one pays exorbitant sums, due to a lack of knowledge about the thing. Even the sugary syrup fails to tamp down the bitterness. Does she miss the place from whence she came? In a physical sense, sure. The tangible aspects of food, housing, pace all add up to a lifestyle that she misses. In an existential sense?, absolutely, she does not. The place in which she lives now is the place from whence she came before now being back after being displaced away from the place from whence she came before returning to that place in the first place. Home, for her, pulls with little to no gravity. Aside from being with the one person with whom she decided to ride this terrible ride, she feels homeless.