Last night was an interesting night. It was Thanksgiving Day, and I’d been invited to dinner with two friends, my only two friends in Chula Vista actually. Dinner went very well. We all watched movies, drank wine, ate dinner, and engaged in lively discussion on a wide variety of topics. After dinner my two friends Thomas and Vilma discussed plans to hang out all night and do somethin with Black Friday and then have coffee at Denny’s afterwards. I expressed an interest and I was invited by Vilma to join them.
Thomas and I were to go ‘home,’ change clothes, and then come back to get Vilma. Everything was great, till we got in the car and Thomas asked me not to come along. I’ll be honest, I felt hurt. Not since High School had I been asked so bluntly not to join in any reindeer games; usually people have the common decency to ignore me till I ‘get the hint’ and I leave feeling dejected. To be asked so casually, so frankly, not to hang out with them, and on Thanksgiving Day of all days; it was painful.
You see Thomas is a childhood friend. I’ve known this guy since the 6th grade. We grew up together. The scar I have on my left eyebrow he gave me when we were kids bein stupid. We played Soul Calibur 2 when it first came out. He sat next to me in ROTC for christs sake. I thought, if there was one person who wouldn’t ever exclude me it would be Thomas, my childhood friend, the guy I consider family.
But apparently, I was wrong. I get it though. Vilma is his girlfriend. They’ve been dating awhile, their schedules are kind of hectic, so they don’t get to see each other as often as they would like. So when he asked me not to come so he could spend some time with her, I totally understood. But come on, the three of us were going to go Black Friday shopping and drink coffee at Denny’s till Vilma had to go to work at 4 in the morning, Vil was the one who invited me to begin with and it’s friggen Thanksgiving. This is a holiday of friendship and celebration, one of those days where it’s just kind of sad to see some one alone.
Well, after a quick dinner, I was alone this day. What made it painful, was that my best friend gave me the pseudo choice of awkwardly hanging out with them when I knew that at least Tom didn’t want me there, or voluntarially ‘choosing’ to stay at ‘home’ and be alone, knowing that I’d been invited by Vilma and then quickly univited by Tom. Oh gee, are those my options?
He didn’t even hesitate when he asked. It was like it was no big deal to him. “Hey I know we all had a great dinner and Vil invited you to come hang with us at Denn’y and such, but would you mind staying here in the apartment, you know, far away from us, while we go have the good times that you were until recently invited to join in on? Thanks, buddy.”
So I did what any lonely person would do on a holiday, I drank way more wine than any man should. Funny thing is, the inebriation really got me thinking. Tom’s asking me to sit out of the fun, and the ease with which he asked it, served as a red flag. It was a warning, that this is his life, not mine, and that even though we may be ‘old frieinds’ I would be a fool to think that this setup will last.
On this night, I very palpably feel that I truly do not have a ‘Home.’ I can’t go back to KY, I will not go back to WA, but it has become clear that I also cannot stay here in Chula Vista. I had this idea in my head that I could set up a kind of home base; a headquarters if you will, to use as an anchor for my nomadic tendancies. And what better place I thought, than right here with my old friend Tom. But, it seems obvioius to me, that I will not fit here. My piece does not fit this puzzle.
Perhaps I am over reacting. Or I’m a bit drunk. Both are possible, but either way I think I am beginning to understand what it means to be ‘homeless,’ not in the physical sense, I’ve been rather fine with that these two months; rather I mean ‘homeless’ in the metaphorical sense, of not really having a place where one belongs.
I wonder if thats the real reason vagabonds travel. To find a place they belong, to find a ‘Home’ in a very deep sense of the word. Seen in this light, maybe travel isn’t about running from something, maybe its about running towards something.
UPDATE: I later found out that I was never supposed to come. Vilma only invited me because I expressed an interest and she didn’t want tell me no. A lot of pain and confusion could be avoided if people would just be honest about their feelings and communicate them.