Nostalgia for the Unimpressed
For the last couple of years, I’ve found myself visiting the neighborhood of my youth. I didn’t like it there, I don’t have a lot of fond memories of being there, and I was glad to get out of there.
So why do I seem to miss the place?
This week I visited the library. I’ve been there several times over the years and I actually do have fond memories of it, having spent a lot of hours there as a kid, reading books and magazines and keeping cool when it was hot outside. It was a place of solitude from the noise of my crowded home.
Years ago, while living once again in my old neighborhood, I briefly dated a great woman, but it didn’t work out. In the post-mortem that couples sometimes have if they can still stand the sight of one another, she aired her complaints.
“And, you never even invited me over to your place,” she said.
“I had roommates,” I said, “A bunch of dudes. I told you that. It would have been like running a gauntlet. Why would you even want to go there?”
She just shook her head, done with it. Done with me. “Because you lived there, Chris. ”
Maybe that’s why I keep finding myself drifting back to the old neighborhood. Even if it hadn’t been what I wanted it to be, it was where I had lived.