felicula: A dark image of a week-old tabby kitten sitting in the palm of my hand. (calm felicula)
([personal profile] felicula Nov. 22nd, 2009 03:12 pm)
Since I purchased an automobile last Tuesday, what was one of the first things I thought of doing? Road trip!

I think this was the first time I've driven to Buffalo with just me in the car. I left directly from work and was at my Mom's house by quarter to ten. My Mom proceeded to reminisce and show me through all the papers left over from her and my Dad’s trip to Ireland several years ago.

I took some time to look through the drawings I have left there. Someday I need to frame the 4x6s. It'll be a monumental undertaking, but I'd love to have at least a couple of them up at my apartment. Not that there’s really room for four-foot-by-six-foot art there. Heh. In any case, I brought back my Einstein.

I had a pleasant brunch with a new friend. I'd forgotten just how busy Main Street in Williamsville can get. I haven’t driven much through there. Most of the time I've hung around that area, it was on foot or on bicycle. As much as I know that they must have changed the decor in The Original Pancake House there, it resonated with memories I have from going there with my folks after church when I was but a wee one. The place is only a couple blocks from Glen Park, so part of me was considering trying a walk near the waterfall. Eh. Not this time around.

That's ok though, 'cause I got in touch with [livejournal.com profile] ninepointsatyr and his housemate to hang around with as well. We picked up coffee at a little place on Elmwood whose name is eluding me.

Somewhere along the way, Strange Brew came up. I mentioned that I've still never made it there. [livejournal.com profile] ninepointsatyr offered to take me in and introduce me since it was on the way to where we were headed. Yay! *bounce-bounce-bounce*

So, I got to add Strange Brew to my internal maps of Buffalo, meet Chimene, and talk about my idea for my memorial tattoo.

Next stop was UB Amherst campus. When [livejournal.com profile] ninepointsatyr had asked what I wanted to do, one of his suggestions was an outdoorsy walk. I'd been itching for something just like that, so I pounced on that idea. I’d never walked along the bike paths near UB before, that I can remember. What an excellent walk, near water and woods, not too far away from humans, but with ample opportunity to traipse through squishy! It was an excellent walk with excellent company.

And what trip of mine to Buffalo would be complete without invading Baldy? Trying to figure out just how long I've been coming back to this place, I realized that the first time I showed up to open gaming on Saturday at UB was in, I think, June of 1994. T'was the day of Alexa’s birthday party. We'd just tried out a premade D&D module and the lot of us talked about going. Only one other guy and I actually made it there. So, there I was, first time in Baldy… first time in Kiva. Heh.

I am rarely anything but the visitor there. I suspect that's the role I play best: enthusiastic hugs with old friends, chatting with random folks, absorbing the culture of the place yet being not-quite-a-part-of-it. I have my memories, but they are snapshots. I am not a dynamic, living participant. I'm not quite sure I like inhabiting that role, but for me it's that old, comfy t-shirt wearing through in too many places yet so familiar that I am reluctant to discard it.

In the course of walking back from a restaurant on campus, I got a chance to talk in depth with [livejournal.com profile] ninepointsatyr about… a whole lot of things.

The past.

Sarah.

I can go for so long not thinking about it, but it only takes one vivid memory; one turn of thought and the grief is fresh.

After talking, after the tears, I needed to be outside my own head for awhile. I needed to watch and listen and absorb and to become everything that I am not for a little while. I wanted to be empty, a receptacle. The world could go on around me. I could be a placeholder, a bookmark. This is the space that Maureen would occupy. Set aside the heart. Set aside the brain. Let me be empty for awhile. Let me listen to the laughter and the strategy, the silliness and other people's stories. Let them pass through me, spill over me like water.

So I stayed until it was late and I was at the limit of my wakefulness. I got hugs and hugs and more hugs, because what's a visit with friends-who-are-family without the kind of hugs that challenge my ability to breathe?

I need to get back there more. I need to make memories that are Now rather than back-in-the-day. I need to expose the raw bits inside of me to the ghosts of the past enough to get used to them. Rochester is all well and good. I have grown to like it. I have friends-who-are-family here too. Still, it distances me from these things that are just as surely a part of me. Rochester lets me sink into forgetfulness, into denial. I can forget that there is something to grieve rather than processing it on a regular enough basis to work through it, to grow strong in it, to accept that it is as much a part of me as the memories.
hkellick: (Buffalo)

From: [personal profile] hkellick


You made me nostalgic for better time in my old northern home. Wandering around the UB North trails (I had a bike and would bike down them once in a while, all the way to Tonawanda Creek Park), wandering around Baldy Hall doing the Open Gaming thing (last time I truly gamed was back then.), and I avoided Main Street like the plague unless I had to get on it, because of the *** traffic and the lights every freakin' block, all mistimed, of course...
.. mostly, you just made me miss Buffalo and some of the good memories I made there.

Memories are all well and good. They tell us who we are and why, but they don't make us happy in the present. Only new experiences can do that.

Perhaps we'll see you come one of these trips to Buffalo. There's alot of the city that's worthwhile to visit with friends.
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