Today already I have run eight miles, eaten a grapefruit, and written some critiques that necessitated me looking up the terms 'allegory' and 'parody,' as well as going on Facebook to look back over the pictures of my life in Asheville.
I miss Asheville so much sometimes that it doesn't make sense. It doesn't help that almost all the reasons (IE people) I miss it for are still there. Miyacowboy is still there, even if she did get married and change her name; she has a wolfdog now so I will grudgingly forgive her that. The Austenate Poet is still there, even if she has changed so much as to look like a different person. I look like a different person. I'm not the same as I was when I lived there. Heck, back then I was The Conservation Biology Major.
What a joke that was. I would never have been a scientist, not then and not now. Thinking something is absorbingly fascinating in a metaphysical how the fuck does this work? kind of way is not the same thing as being a scientist. I don't think there will ever been a career in sometimes being completely thrown by the fact that the world works and even though there are so many places for life to go wrong, somehow it all works out.
I'm not sure I'll ever be the same kind of happy I was in Asheville. I think I'm too old now; I think too much has happened to me to believe in the moment like that again. I can't write the same poetry over again.
I couldn't move to Asheville now. Not even after I finish my degree. The logical, outside-world part of my brain prevents me. It's too expensive to live there. I'm thinking of the idealized mecca of my brain weasels when I left for a reason, and a good one that required medication and twenty-hours-of-sleep days.
But then I think to myself, "Self, you are not that person anymore. You are much better adjusted and you have a clearer idea of who you are. You will not get pushed around. You will possibly even be able to navigate the lesbian ocean there well enough to get laid a few times. You know, more than the zero you did then."
I can't believe I was queer in the lesbian homeland of NC and managed to not get laid. It's like I have to go back to correct this error. I mean, I have a fauxhawk now. Ladies love the fauxhawk.
I was going to try and do some kind of Before and After thing here, with photos side by side, but you might not believe that we're the same person. There's your warning.
May 2007. I'm eighteen. I'm not sure who took this picture. Evan, probably.
There aren't that many pictures of my face and just my face from this time. The original picture I was going to use had my whole body in it, and I changed to this one because this isn't about my weight, then or now. I mean, you can see that I've lost weight. But this is about other things.
I took this in the lab just now. I have my hand over my mouth because for every time my picture is being taken - even if I'm the one taking it - I get this doofy, stressed-looking smile on my face that's masking the fact that I want to giggle like a mental patient.
I can't see the other things. I can see the overall changes, but I don't understand how I can be these two people. Theoretically 2007 is still in here; you don't just get rid of the person you were. But if I went back now, if I did Asheville and Warren Wilson over again, how different would my experience be? What would it be?
Also looking back at those photos made me miss my rats so much.