Friday, August 19, 2011


This is my first time in Reno in 25 years. I used to joke to my wife, "I can't go back until a few more people have died." Yet here we are.

I don't tell the Reno stories. In a lot of ways, this is where I came of age, crossed a barrier, whatever. I came here to find out who I was. I found out, and in the process changed.

My eyes feel tight. Watchful. K said, "You're different since we got into town. All teeth." She didn't mean smily teeth.

I didn't really noticed until I casually, habitually, laid my sunglasses on the table upside down. It's a better angle for seeing anything behind me in the reflection. I haven't done that in years and here it just happened without a thought.

Have to get up early or tonight would be a night for prowling. See if the hobo "jungle" is still there on the railroad tracks west of town. See if the storm sewers are still open on the Truckee. Night action at the CalNeva. Maybe a midnight run to Pyramid Lake and the Needles. See how many of the hidden service doors I can still remember or find in the strip casinos.

Just stuff. Memories.


Mike H. said...

It would be cool to check those things out. They say you can never really go home again, though, and I think it's usually true.

Steve Perry said...

Yep. Going home after being gone for years doesn't work. You've changed, people who stayed there have changed, and places have changed. Find yourself doing the used-to-be's -- Used to be, that was a car wash, now it's a funeral home. Used to be, that road didn't go through, now it does.

If you live in a place, the evolutionary changes are easier to track. This gets torn down, that goes up in its place, but you see it happen. Drive to a section of town you haven't seen in a few years, you get hit with it at once.

For me, going home to visit my folks is disquieting. Much of it is the same, the climate, the smells, the topography, but enough has changed to give it an unfamiliarity. Jamais vu -- you've been there, but it feels as if you hadn't. What Alzheimer's patients feel -- they look up at a street they've driven a thousand times and they are lost.

Some of those old memories can be poked at and something learned. Some of them are best left alone ...

Edwin Voskamp said...

If you want or need company I'm free after 12:30am tonight, anytime tomorrow. You know my number.