Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Days in Dallas

The view this morning from the cafe window

I'm sitting in a café I've never been before, in a part of town I should know like my own backyard. The mugs says "established 2011."  I didn't recognize my own backyard.

The last time I was in Dallas was April 2011 for three days, when I barely left my friend's house and lived one of the best weekends on my entire life. This trip was my chance to show my partner a part of my past. I would visit my childhood home and my high school. I would eat at my cherished restaurants and relive my teenage memories. This was supposed to be a nostalgic trip.  I thought I would feel energized returning here. I had so many good memories of growing up in Dallas. I loved my life here. But seeing this new city depresses me and has left me with an odd feeling of displacement. The Texas that I'm from is just a place of memory and imagination. It is no longer real, and no longer somewhere I can return.

It's true that Dallas, as a city, has changed a lot. But so have I. I'm not impressed by my high school tastes and yet I find nothing in Dallas that speaks to the soul of my adult self. I left Dallas in 2005. My mom left in 2007, my dad in 2008, and my best friend in 2013. Without my friends and family Texas has no appeal. I recognize nothing. I feel nothing. I couldn't even find my way to my childhood home from the highway exit. All the experiences I had this weekend make me feel nothing but a dull sense of loss. From now on, when people ask me where I'm from, I'll say "I don't know yet." I am still finding that place.

- Diary Excerpt, 11:27 am Oak Lawn Coffee, Dallas, Texas

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