Monday, April 21, 2008

Homeless on Home Leave

I've been on home leave for a week now. But I still can't seem to relax and unwind. What does that say about me? Maybe my subconscious mind is desperately trying to make lists of things to do. But what is there to do when you're on home leave? Eat sushi. Check. Go to the mall. Check (twice). Read. Check. Attend nephew's little league baseball game. Check. Practice Arabic. Check. Catch up on new episodes of Lost. Check. Make plans with friends. Check.

I think part of the mental confusion has to do with being homeless. The innocent question, "where are you from?" leaves me tongue-tied. "I'm formerly from the Bay Area." "My family lives in Los Angeles." "I spent the last 2 years living in Bucharest." Any of these responses is accurate, but none adequately describes my unusual situation. I'm a homebody without a home.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to be back in America (and to be able to eat an In-n-Out cheeseburger whenever the urge strikes). But along with the excitement I feel of being back in the States, there's an odd, indefinable sensation. It's almost like I'm not even a guest in my hometown, but I'm merely an observer.

Perhaps I'm being too philosophical about this. The "odd sensation" is probably indigestion and will pass just as soon as my body gets used to the suburban Los Angeles tap water.


Jill said...

Enjoy your home leave... we have 5 weeks and counting! Packout is in 3 weeks and I long for the cricket sound, though I would prefer a TV that works (not that I'm counting on it from here)

I think that all nomads on home leave make their way to Los Angeles. We'll be heading there too in 5 weeks.

Did I mention that we're SO excited to leave in 5 weeks?


Anonymous said...

I know very well the feeling of not knowing quite how to answer the question "Where are you from?" Well, I was born in NYC, grew up in L.A., lived in northern CA for 4 years--basically and have been back and forth between NYC and CA my whole life!

Any chance you'll be spending some time on the east coast during your time in the States?


Digger said...

Have you seen that AFN commercial where the guy walks up to a woman in a bar and asks where she is from. And she asks, "do you mean where I am posted? Or where I am a resident? Or maybe you mean where I served last? Or where I was born?"

I feel like that...I think that is an FS hazard...a question that used to be simple no longer is!