Loco’s going home for Kwanzaa / Christmas / New Year’s for the first time in 7 years, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Which is not good because I have a novel to finish in 14 days (as per NaNoWriMO- see top of web page for more info).
So, I figured I’d better deal with this home thing and get it out of my mirrors so I can drive this novel home and get there in one piece.
So why the obsession with home, anyway?
I’m very anxious. Concerned about what exactly am I going home to. Things have changed so much back home, and I’m sure, though I feel like the same person that packed his bags and set out to experience the other side of the world, I’ve changed quite a bit as well. So, I guess my major concern is have I changed so much that home has become just this place where a part of me resided for a period of time?
Not to compare myself to Jay-Z, but I watched on Oprah as they walked through Marcy projects together, and sat on the stoops of some brownstone not far from the brownstones of my upbringing, and he looked as comfortable, as “at home” as he does performing before an enthralled audience. That is to say he wasn’t home at all. The price of fame was home, but the trade off looks acceptable (drug dealing in the housing projects for stardom and CEO of a multi million dollar company- from grams (cocaine) to grammys, as Jay-Z puts it) and I think it’s something he’d never regret.
And why would he? Change is as inevitable as pain. Made the best of that change, controlled it as much as one can control anything, is what he did
Have I done the same?
Maybe that’s the cause of my anxiety. My self-doubt. Is it possible that I’ve been away all these years and haven’t learned a goddamn thing of any use? That I haven’t grown a lick? Or even worse, have I deteriorated? Have I managed to accelerate the process of dying?
Anyway, i won’t dwell on that. Too morbid.
But I do want to take a closer look at this “home” thing.
A couple of years ago I went home to vote for Obama, help “get out the vote” and partake of the celebration if a win came to be. Fortunately it did. I wanted to say one day that I flew around the world to pull the lever for change. Fuck an absentee ballot. I wrote about that experience, in a series I called Home Alterations, and shared it with you guys. But, I have a feeling this time around it’s going to be different. Not sure why. Maybe it’s that added tension of it being the holiday season. The holidays can be a real challenge, can’t they?
So, in order to prepare for this trip, I’m putting together a list of all the things that make home home.
Of course, home is first and foremost about family but I gotta tell you, food has top billing right about now.
Mommy’s chicken & dumplings has 1st priority followed closely by my sister’s lasagna. Then there’s Famous Ray’s pizza (not to be confused with the 100’s of ripoff rays around the city), Junior’s cheesecake, BBQ Ribs from Calvin’s Royal Ribs on Halsey street, Beef Patties w/ Coco bread from anywhere in Flatbush, Escoveitch fish, crust and plantain tarts from (if there is a god) Prospect and Nostrand, Farmer in the Deli Heroes, Mamoun’s Falafels in the Village, Shrimp from Sammy’s on City Island (and if they haven’t changed their style I’ll be eating seafood for days after cuz the individual platter is big enough to feed all the teachers in my office)…
And that’s just for starters. In two weeks I’ll probably gain back all the weight I’ve lost on the Nihon Diet Plan.
I figure, if the food is as good as it is in my mind, and if I can garner enough hugs and smiles from friends and fam, then I can handle any drama I’m sure to encounter.
Unless it’s of a nature that makes me lose my appetite.
Note to self: “Be Positive Loco! t’s gonna be what it’s gonna be, but you be positive…and bon apetit.”