11-24-09 Yesterday I hovered along California’s coast after spending nearly 10 hours crossing her Pacific ocean. Folds of gold and green ripples grew from the water’s white furled edges, rolled inward toward the smokey Sierra Nevada just visible in the distance. Our plane coasted closer to the suddenly-appearing landmass, my nose pressed against the cold pressurized cabin window, mouth half-jarred in a disbelieving smile. The hills along the coast unfolded further, surrendered to the bay of San Francisco. There was Saulsilito, I recognized, Treasure Island, the Golden Gate Bridge. Andy! I called out laughing, we can see the bridge! Rows upon rows of city blocks and streets, the defined blocks of green public parks, snaking col du sacs built to circumnavigate soft peaked hillsides, it all looked so tidy, so distinctly planned and organized, so not like Kathmandu. And in all of these things so beautiful.

The skyline emerged from the flatness around it, thrust its scrapers skyward. Our plane curled around, hung above the waters of the bay so closely I thought for a half-second we would splash down, our epic 35 hour journey from Asia would end mere meters from our destination in the murky bay waters, just beside the runway. We sailed forward farther, the plane shuddered and gently bucked as the wheels touched town and I giggled. What an incredible landing!

Home. The most elusively defined word in my vocabulary. The word that seems to change with the rhythm of a traffic light, within the parameters of ‘could be anywhere.’ Yesterday my cramped air plane seat was home, the night before it was the 24 hour coffee shop at the Singapore airport, the week prior Room 120 at Kathmandu’s Hotel Malla, before that wherever my orange tent stakes were stuck in the soil of the Himalaya. If you want to get technical, Colorado is home. Technically that’s where my driver’s license was issued, technically I’m registered to vote there, technically I have a PO Box, less technically my pile of boxes and belongings are shoved into my best friend’s storage closet somewhere in the mountains. But beyond the technicalities, it’s just another beautiful place where I find myself when I don’t know where else to go. During the months I was wandering in Nepal, sleeping in my cozy orange tent, basking in the freedom of nomadism, I engaged in a regular debate with myself: I should go back, I shouldn’t go back, but Manasseh, you don’t even have a room, a house, a hole-in-the-wall there, you don’t even have a job, what are you going back to? The mountains, I told myself, a boy I think I really like, ski season. My answers became weaker and less grounded as weeks wore on, my excuses for returning less valid, practical, appealing. It became a matter of convenience above all: my car is there, my material items, my skis, some friends, working potential (working where? potentially somewhere…). The boy, much of it came down to the boy. After two months of scattered emails hastily typed and read in remote Himalayan village internet cafes, I was ready to spend more time with the boy.

And so, eventually back to Colorado I’ll head, but first, a week of San Francisco with my wonderful older sister awaits. I’ve put off the home, the job, the rest of it for two months, may as well extend my responsibility procrastination another week and enjoy my homeless jobless freedom a little longer. Until I find another one, home, for now, is right here in the Golden Gate city. Oh, the life spent wandering.

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