Excitement hit me late, probably only on the way to the airport – I was too exhausted to be excited until I was forced to sit in a cab for one hour, doing nothing. The thought of being back in my own bed, running my hand down my cat’s back, eating Singaporean food, meeting friends and family without some electronic apparatus that simultaneously connected and restricted connection.
The thought of being Home.
Yet, what struck me most was not the feeling of being Home, but a profound sense of having awoken from an extended dream. It seemed as if New York never happened, that those 15 weeks was merely the product of some conspiracy within my brain. “Nothing ever happened. Even as it was happening, it wasn’t happening,” said Harold Pinter, quoted me, in History of the Image class one Dolores-Hazy Thursday afternoon. I have fallen back into place, into myself, as my parents’ daughter or the island city girl or that friend of a friend of a friend to someone I have never personally known.
It scares me how easily these past four months seemed to recede into the recesses of my mind. Only a ghost of them shall remain for these two weeks, like that tropical morning dew that eludes my senses as the sun rises, or the shadow of an imagined lover’s breath upon my skin.
Maybe I left part of me behind when I left home, or maybe I had borne a new and slightly separate self in New York, a geographically unique identity. All the alternate universes, planes of existence, dislocated spheres or whatever pseudo-scientific existentialist jargon that I have woken up into…
I am more homesick now, knowing that I will soon have to return to that other, temporarily not-so-permanent sur-reality. But I am also afraid to consider the possibility of a changing emphasis between these two realities. At what point will holding on be sentimentality (or perhaps some desperation for certainty), and not honest truth? Who, where, how do I want – need – to be?
In the end, we are but those who are ravaged by time and space…