There was the moment in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, when I got behind the wheel of the car and onto the highway, and realized that I was heading to the closest thing to “home” (in the sense of comfort and relaxation) I feel like I have right now.
There was the lengthy moment after dark en route to Lexington (Kentucky) when my mother and I talked about writing and memoirs and talking, and she revealed to me her struggles to communicate with me–we’re both coming to the realization that we don’t live in the same worlds anymore, and she doesn’t know how to step into mine.
There was the moment in Paris (Kentucky) when my grandmother first realized who it was standing on her porch and made that sound that she (and my father, and my aunts) make–it’s something between an “aww” and an “ohh” and it’s the sound they make for damn near every occassion: surprise, hurt, admiration. Then she made me sit where she could see me without craning her neck. You would think I’d performed a miracle, not lost some weight.
There was the moment when I stepped out of my car and onto Luke’s driveway and realized that I have been living in the city entirely too long.
There was the moment when I met his parents and got a feel for the atmosphere of his home, and my world-view shifted a little as I realized how some might actually want to go home every chance they got. And then I got another world-view shift simply seeing how Luke lives.
There was the moment when Luke’s father said, “If Luke brings a group of people down to see Thunder, you should come,” and my brain did an immediate split: I’m about 85% sure I could translate that to mean, “If Luke decides he wants to drag people home and make his vacation a little less relaxing, you should make sure you’re among that group.” The other 15% of my brain went, “Well, it’s not like Luke and I are making fireworks (*waggles eyebrows*), so I’m not sure why we’d need a group as chaparones…”
There was the moment in the car when my mother said, “He seems young. Not like someone about to graduate.” I reminded her that Luke is “only” twenty-one. There’s nothing wrong with being youthful.
There was the moment when I pulled into the New Res parking lot and saw a dark blue Camry with a spoiler. No matter how common a car that is, I know when I see Mae’s car.
There was the moment when Mae heard my voice in her room and said, “Lissa? Thank god,” and I found myself with an armful of a red-eyed, worn down, scarily manic/frantic Mae. That vague worry I’d had when she stopped updating her blog just after I left Terre Haute? Definitely well-founded.
There was the moment when I recognized Nikolai’s father and vigorously shook his hand. He said, “Oh, it’s like that.” I think he really wanted a hug, but I’m not hugging my friend’s old man. Can we say, “Creep factor”? I so don’t know him that well.
There was the moment when I realized that our room ceiling was only 10.5 feet high, rather than the 11.5 or 12 feet that we thought it was. There goes the split-level idea.
There was the moment when I realized that if I wanted my deck built before Tuesday, I was going to have to build it myself.