I am exhausted, and beset with a nasty cold. But I am home. I partied like there was no tomorrow in New Orleans for my dear Dana's wedding celebration, for which I donned victorian undergarments in the endearing role as a bridesmaid.
Chip came down, and I think he is now quite under the spell of New Orleans, too. It is an enchanting place.
Here, it is cold, although I am told it is quite nice and warm. The type of quietude consuming the afternoon is just the sort of thing that reminds me that I am in a past-prime-place, a place in the midst of a slow, lumbering decline rather than a slow upswing, or even an epic climb up a grade that almost appears to be level, such as the sometimes pace of development in the developing world.
The birds outside are not astounding, although I do not love them any less than I did before. They are the very face of familiarity: cardinals and starlings, turtle doves and house sparrows.
No more mynas, no more peacocks. No more red earth bleeding out in every direction. No more jungle filled with the keening of monkeys. No more crashing of the ocean onto the shore, announcing that this is the place where shells come to be beaten into sand.
My skin is freckled and brown, but my cat, Dingo, recognizes me just fine. Dingo, on the other hand, has filled out in my absence, become a full grown man-cat.
New Orleans transitioned me from one wild and exotic place to another, and now I sit at my Muncie window, a fresh crop of goosebumps prickling my skin, wondering how long we will be here before we are able to depart for hotter climes.
It cannot come soon enough, I sneeze into my sarong, ears trying to find the chirping of singing squirrels in the decaying post-industrial ruins outside.
I graduate NEXT MONTH, people. It is all happening so fast.