Thursday, October 20, 2011
Things I Forgot
Aside from the big things (like forgetting how to play the piano or that the Green Line is super-slow), I forgot littler things about Boston.
Namely, allergies. I'm not really allergic to the dust in Portland - mainly because there is no dust. My mother has said before that I am suited to the Great Britain/Pacific Northwest cold and grey and wet climate, and it is true that I thrive on damp moor walks and runs in the canyon on drizzly mornings and that my window in Portland is constantly open, regardless of how often W and N come in, wrinkle their noses and say something like "it's kind of chilly in here, no?" I like the fresh air and the mild damp. Someone on my backpacking orientation trip told me that he (a junior) partially came to Portland for the weather because he'd had this idea of breathing cold, wet air and it being refreshing and good. And I know what he means - I thought the same thing. It's true.
But Boston isn't exactly like that. Boston is older, it feels, or at least has been lived in longer. It doesn't have that raw primordial feel of the West Coast or even the feeling of determination and strength and stubbornness that Scotland elicits. It's old, and venerable, and dusty. And our house is the same way.
My childhood home was built sometime in the 1800s, I think, and it is just an old house. There is horsehair plaster and crumbling Victorian wallpaper in the living room where I practice the piano and sit on the sofa writing this; there are dusty woolens and vintage dresses in the second-floor-hallway closet. We collect books here (I remember describing them as pen-and-paper souls in my chapel) and soft old rugs, and there are two kitties (possibly three at some soon point), so everything is a little dusty.
A dust that I didn't remember collecting in my throat or making me sneeze, so this will be interesting!
But really, I love being here and having the old-house smell - of books and plaster and soft sofas - swirl around me, as it feels exactly like what it is: home.
(That is not my room. But: high ceilings and windows and old rugs! From here.)