I arrived back from Columbus this morning (well, arrived at work -- haven'tyet gone home). While it was a good trip, a lot of things I was looking fordidn't seem to be there. On my way there, I had the oddest impression that Iwas really going there to see a certain, specific person, but that some partof my brain kept reminding me that that person does not exist, and that Ishould forget both them and the fact that I had that thought. There have beentimes where I've worked on forgetting people and things, sometimes with fairsuccess, but as far as I know, it's always left at least some kind of afuzzy memory -- I wonder if I really have managed to intentionally forgetsomeone that I really miss, or if it's just one of those things -- weirdinterpretations of flakey memories that arn't entirely there. I was in a sensevisiting a number of people who were both there and not there anymore.I could almost see the blue light of Insomnia one of the times I went downhigh street, with such a vivid memory of it that some part of me was surprisednot to see the dark tables outside and the lit interior with the usual crowd.A friend remarked that Insomnia always drew a mix of people that was surprising,from a handful of really eminent professors to people deeply pierced. I couldalmost see myself and my friends sitting outside again as the lights aboveflickered, faded, and returned due to heat on the filament. All those times Iwent there alone, and eventually met up with TimW, Jason, and Dawon, endlessseries of nights sitting, reading, playing on my laptop, talking with people,that time that MathAdam and I met up, and he flipped a coin to convince me togo with him to the Girl Bar. Digging back further in memory, that Insomnia wasa place I adopted to cope with the loss of Martha, that it was in a real sensea therapy that became a home. I drove by that place on high street where I didpart of falling in love for the first time, and the place on Northwood wherethe other part was. Outland being dead, the last big stronghold of alternativeColumbus is gone. I tried the High Five, a place that hopes to be in part acontinuation of the alternative -- it's decently big, has good food, and mayeventually be what Insomnia was (although it's too far from campus to beso fully, and it lacks the run-down charm). I had a conversation there with aguy who was born to ex-pats in Japan, studies martial arts, and roamssoutheastern asia to do that and to hang out. An interesting life. Not longafter I reached Columbus, I hung out with Martha (also visiting Columbus),Justin, and Gaelynn in another new coffeeshop a ways north of campus. It's beenawhile since I've seen any of them, and was fun to chat. M and G seem to thinkthat Qatar would be a very good thing to do. We later talked a bit aboutpolitics, different general ways to live one's work-life, and art. I got to borea few people with my photo collection too. Dubin, Brian, and I had dinner atIndian Oven, and the owner still remembered my name after all this time. That'spretty amazing. Apparently one of my sisters visits there frequently though, sothat might help. I then saw a few friends I haven't seen for ages, including afellow philosopher, at Vic's (where we had, naturally, a long philosophicaldiscussion), and then some of us went to his house where we saw part of whatlooks to be a very strange film -- Mulholland Drive (added to my Netflix).The next day I met with my friend Mac and his wife, and talkedcomputers while having yet more indian food, then bubble tea, and finallyvisiting Micro Centre. Later, I tried to visit a pair of friends who are alsoreally talented artists that I haven't seen in ages, but they wern't in. Thetrip ended with another group of friends, HoundDogs, abortive attempts to visitmore places that ended up closed, and finally at an Irish pub where I confirmedthat I can't successfully drink scotch. The whole trip was a strong reminderthat I have a low tolerance for alcohol -- I had some good plum wine at thehigh five, and the barkeep gave me and a few other people a gratis shot ofsake too while we were talking to him. Both were pretty good, but my stomachbecame queasy almost immediately. I guess it's the family curse (or blessing)from my Dad's side at play. Anyhow, I left Columbus around 2am, but wasreminded by my body that I'm not as young as I once was -- I had to makeuse of the services of the glorious Hotel Rest-stop partway home. I think Islept for about 3 hours once I managed to get to sleep, and while it wasn'tthe most comfortable arrangement, it was kind of fun, and when I started backon my way, I was driving in a beautiful mix of sunshine and fog. Once I get afew more things done for work, I'll probably finally head home and get a bitof sleep before I decide what to do with the evening.
The things I didn't see were, as I noted, large in number. I didn't see Amanda,but I remembered the last time I visited Columbus and went out to grab foodwith her (I think not long after breaking up with Debb for the first time).Of course, she's off on the West Coast now, so it'll be awhile before I seeher again, I think. Aug and Amanda2 are out of town for a conference. Woody isstill off in BFE somewhere, last I heard, although he moved considerably beforeI did. A part of me wanted to see Charles, at least for a bit, but he's off inCleveland. I don't have any way to contact my old philosophy group anymore, soI hope they're doing well. I miss the SFF crowd as a mass too -- I wish I hadcome on the right day/weekend for a meeting or a social. Lorie is out west, asis Jason. Dawon was out of town with her boyfriend, and a number of otherpeople I tried to see had either moved or were unavailable. Such is life -- Imiss the closeness I once had with people at various times there. It was avivid experience -- all the memories stirred and past paths I have crossed,long repetitions of certain drives to do things that no longer are my life,I miss that. Mentally, Columbus feels more like my childhood than Brecksvilleor Dallas did. It will probably always feel like home (albeit a dumpy one).One particular amusement -- Korea restaurant, the place on High where I used tohave very authentic and good Korean food (although not actually so much to myliking), because of the widening of Lane Avenue, no longer is a hiddenrestaurant down a long narrow walkway between two buildings -- it's nowexposed to the air, like a turtle with it's shell cracked and fallen off. Itlooks strange like that, having once been so private-feeling. It's strange howthe buildings themselves can evoke memories almost as strongly as the people --the meaning is certainly in the fluids, not the solids, but the solids canput one temporarily back where one was effectively too. With the right effort,I can reopen old boxes full of pain and desire and other things, but that'suseless and nonproductive, especially given that I still have fresh versions ofthose things to deal with, and still need to work on stifling my presentfeelings of love. I didn't feel very alone while I was there though, and thatwas a start.
I think a mix of the alcohol, large amounts of indian food, and other thingshave conspired to make me feel kind of ill.
Now to wrap up the work and head home for some sleep! w00t!If only I had internet at home... sigh.