trinsy: (I'm always all right)
So I've been at school four days ... and the panic's come.  It hasn't fully set in because I've been holding it off through sheer force of will, but I've felt it hovering on the edge of my mind from the moment we drove onto campus.

And just ... I hate it.  Not just because my own panic scares me more than anything else in the world, but because it just doesn't make sense.  I was trying to explain it to my roommate last night because the thing is, I never panicked in Scotland.  Not once.  I was on the other side of the world, and I had no friends, and school didn't make an ounce of sense, but I never panicked.  I mean, I was failing school, and there were nights when I went to bed hungry, and I was lonelier than I'd ever been in my life (which is saying a lot), but ... I slept at night; I didn't cry; I was happy.  And that logically makes no sense at all.

I mean, here I can go to class and know what's going on (usually); here I have people who actually care about me; here I'm not completely on my own.  But here I panic.  I was telling my roommate how, emotionally, Scotland was really good for me because "it kept me stable and it kept me sane."  And then I paused and said, "Or maybe it kept me delusional."  Because the truth is that Scotland was the first place since I came to college that I didn't feel homesick.  And it took me nearly the whole semester to work out why, but one day it finally all clicked into place:

In Scotland I was so far removed from everything that I was able to tell myself that at the end of it all I could go home.  And here I just know that's not true.  I can't lie to myself in Texas because I see all my stuff in that unfamiliar house; and here I can't lie to myself because I grew up fairly close to my school, so when I'm here I know what I lost.  And I know that I can't go home because there is no home.

And so the panic sets in.  And I hate it.
trinsy: (pest control)
Disclaimer: I apologize to any and all Texans who read this, but seriously: Build roads that make sense.

So.  I have been living in Texas for the past six days, and I am very happy to say that in just eight more days, I will be leaving it again, not to return for at least two months.  This is seriously one of the last states I would ever chose to live (though admittedly I would chose it over Montana and definitely North Dakota).  I couldn't possibly list all the things wrong with it, but brace yourselves because I'm going to try anyway.

First and foremost, the roads are terrible!  They make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  I am convinced that the person who designed the roads in Texas was a.) drunk, b.) high, c.) a complete moron, or d.) some combination of the other three.  It is the only possible explanation for the convoluted way the roads here are set up.  See, first you have your highways, which are like the freeways, except there are only two lanes in either direction.  But they have exits and stuff, so for all intents and purposes, they are freeways.  Then, running parallel to the highways are these things called "service roads".  They are also two lanes.  When you exit the highway, you exit onto a service road going the same direction you were going on the highway.  If you don't want to go that direction, you have to go through this little roundabout u-turn thingy to go the other way, and when you do that it puts you on the service road running the other direction which is on the other side of the highway.  So these service road things are basically one-way streets.  Then you have to go down the service road (running parallel to the highway the whole time) until you get to a real street.  But the real streets twist and turn and split and fork about every half-mile, and half of them are one-way anyway, and half the time you just end up going in a big circle without even realizing it.  And honestly, the whole service road thing wouldn't even be necessary if you would just put more exits on your damn freeway, if you didn't have to exit in only one direction, and if you built roads that were semi-straight and actually made a shred of sense!

Time and distance to do not seem to exist here.  The people in the stores are slower than molasses, and often equally as helpful.  15-minute meetings last over an hour, and the lights are all four to five minutes long.  When I asked for directions to the closest Starbucks, the person told me it was "just right over there", which to me meant that it was right across the street.  To them, apparently, it meant it was ten miles up the road.  "Just up the road" can mean anything from actually just up the road to over an hour away.  "Not all that far" is a four or five hour drive.

The insects and reptiles are a huge problem.  There are these terrifying black crickets that attack me every time I put my dog out, and people swap snake stories over dinner as casually as if they're discussing the latest weather report.  I have also seen at least one frog every day, though often more.  So far, I have not seen any of the killer ants I discovered in New Mexico (they were as long as crickets, and twice as fat as fire ants), but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

It never cools down here.  I hate that I can never open my window.  Every night I want to open my window and get a nice cool breeze, but I know that's not the answer, because even at night it is hot and humid.  ARGH!

Only eight more days...
trinsy: (wall)
Today is my eighteenth birthday. I’m not very excited about it, to be honest. I liked being seventeen. Seventeen was an age that suited me: hovering on the edge, old enough to join in with the adults but young enough to avoid the responsibility, almost grown up but not quite there, in transit between child and adulthood.

Eighteen is legally an adult. It doesn’t make me one, but now more is going to be expected of me, and it makes the idea of being grown up even less of a distant dream and more of a frightening reality.

This is it.

Time flows relentlessly forward. I won’t be a child forever. The government considers me an adult now, and that means that someday in the no-longer-distant future real people will too.

And that scares me.

trinsy: (too late)
Was there ever a time the living room wasn’t full of boxes?

Was there ever a time a Christmas tree stood where the treadmill is now, and I taught myself piano facing the same wall I now face when I eat in the dining room, and a door sat in the now empty doorframe that leads from the dining room to the kitchen?

Was there ever a time when the now noxious room my uncle sleeps was called “The School Room” and my mom would sit in the middle of a futon with my sisters on either side and I would lay across the top while she read?

Was there ever a time when there were three windows in my sister’s room where now there’s only one, and above these hung a valance of carousel horses to match the wallpaper border lining the top of the wall, and the carpet was rough and a hideous color?

Was there ever a time when the shower curtain in the downstairs shower was a plain and faded pink, and my mom and I would have to walk down the stairs, past the front door, and down the hall to that bathroom in our towels to shower?

Was there ever a time that the kitchen was blue, and our microwave sat on the counter and only had two buttons, and the cupboards were plain wood, and the dishwasher and refrigerator were off-white, and the Kitchen Aid was yellow, and the floor an ugly, sticky linoleum?

Was there ever a time when the family room was cut in half, and the half by the window was our dining area, and we extended the table weirdly into the family room on holidays and during parties?

Was there ever a time when we pulled beanbags in front of the fireplace in the winter and drank eggnog, and made fudge and caramel corn and then gave it away to our friends and the neighbors?

Was there ever a time when my room was peach, and my closet doors opened out instead of sliding open, and I slept in a waterbed and kept all my Bernstein Bear books on the shelves of its headboard?

Was there ever a time when my sisters shared the room next door and I’d bang on the wall at night to tell them to shut up so I could sleep?

Was there ever a time when my shelves were filled with books and stuffed animals and glass dogs, and a green dresser sat to one side of my desk (though God knows why since I’ve never kept clothes in my room), and I could hide myself in the toy chest in my closet?

Was there ever a time that I could fit in my wardrobe or the linen closet, or fit under the coffee table (long since gone), and a yardstick was not much smaller than I?

Was there ever a time when the patio floor was half concrete, half bits of old carpet, and one whole wall was rusting metal shelves, yet the awesome blocks, and the Fisher Price kitchen and hair salon and dollhouse, and the PlayMobile ranch and fort made it a child’s paradise?

Was there ever a time where a pomegranate tree grew where a rosebush now blooms, and the tree outside the kitchen window was much larger and dropped disgusting-smelling berries every fall, and a peppertree flourished where a stunted orange tree now languishes, and I thought a bloodstained old man lived in the hedges surrounding the central power controller in our backyard?

Was there ever a time when there were swings in the backyard, and we actually walked on the grass, and we pretended to go down the manhole or through the mailbox to emerge into another world?

Was there ever a time when the house rang with laughter, and children played, and memories made?

Was there ever a time when people actually lived here, instead of just eating and sleeping and existing?

It’s been sixteen years but really eighteen, more than my whole life though, twenty-one years, and twenty-three, and thirty-six. But it’s a been over a year since this house was a home, more than that really, years since any of it, since all of it. Years since the caramel corn and the eggnog and the fire and the Christmas tree and the tea parties and the piano lessons and the swings and the patio and the best game ever invented. And all I want now is out, out of the oppressiveness, out of the room with the bare walls and empty shelves, out of the house with the stained, faded carpet, out of it all.

Maybe it’s better this way, better that I was forced to put away the stuffed animals and the glass dogs, better that I was forced to do away with the remnants of my childhood in one swift stroke, because that’s what this house is, my childhood, and tomorrow it will be gone. But I hate to think that this is what I’ll remember: boxes and bare walls and that oppressive emptiness.

Was there ever a time the living room wasn’t full of boxes? I’m not even sure now that there was.

June 2013

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