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Today I have been visiting the town I lived in for the last few years and recently moved away from. This is partly a pit stop on my way further north, a way to see some friends and break the drive. It has also been a chance to finally clear some material out from my old studio (more digital/ virtual space than physical, but still, the sense of dwelling persists). It has been comforting to meet friends and acquaintances on the street, and to nod or say hello to people I don’t know, because that is how it is here. The man who works in the chip shop now is different, or maybe I should say I haven’t seen him before. He is not the man that wouldn’t let me pay for my lunch the last time (that was just before I left and I always worried about not explaining why I would not see him again, and slightly irritated that this unfinished encounter would sit, unresolved and make me seem like the girl who was scared off by a stranger’s kindness). There was a pickup of books too, and a couple of project meetings. And after all that, when I realised that it has been getting cold and it’s too early for me to go visit my friends, I am hit by the sudden strangeness of not being able to go up to my house on the hill, turn the key in the lock and make myself a cup of tea, surrounded by religious pictures I do not own and faced with the china cabinet I was always afraid I would somehow fall into and break. Instead my body belongs in the publicly heated warmth of the library, and then slowly walking the aisles of Centra, before I am inevitably early.
July 2020