Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2008 / 03 / 20 / la-persistencia-de-la-memoria

March 20, 2008

La Persistencia de la Memoria

The Persistence of Memory

Salvador Dalí
La Persistencia de la Memoria

With the first week of Spring Break nearly over, and my (triumphant) return to California, in particular the Bay Area, drawing to an unavoidable close, I cannot help but succumb to the memories of a bygone era that this trip has evoked with such puissance as to shock the senses—good ones and bad, those that stir laughter, and those that conjure tears (insofar as I am capable of such emotions). The memories that hardly seemed indelible even a month ago have demonstrated themselves to be just that in the course of less than a week. To say that the past few days have been surreal would be grossly unjust; a waking dream is perhaps the closest I can come to describing it.

From the moment I saw the black waters of the San Francisco Bay gleaming in the soft moonlight, the dream commenced. It was the same water I saw almost every Friday for months on end as I flew back late at night from God-only-knows-where. It was the same water that the plane descended into, only to be saved from a watery crash by the back wheels hitting the runway at San Francisco International Airport.

For a fleeting moment, it almost felt as though nothing had changed—as though the past year had not happened. But I was not returning from a trip of adding inordinate amounts of value through utterly unremarkable activities; I was not returning home to 1524; there would be no drug-dealing next door neighbors to greet me (with threatening stares) as I got out of the cab, nor roommates to hit the town with as soon as I got home. I was returning as a visitor—an outsider even. The sights and sounds, and sometimes, even the people, were familiar, but something was different. Something had changed. It would be two days before I finally realized what that something was: it was me.

San Francisco was the same; it was I who had changed, or more specifically, my life that was dramatically altered. As I floated with P-Diddy and G-Unit from place to place, each time trying to remember when I was there last, I realized the extent to which my move to Chicago had changed everything. Gone was the anxiety, the fear, the anger, the angst, the sorrow, and the regret that had hounded me for the better part of my last six months in San Francisco. In its place, only the sublime feelings of familiarity that accompany reuniting with friends with whom one shares a bond that can be severed neither by time nor by space.

That is not to say that I hold any regrets about the last time I called San Francisco my home. Those memories are an indelible part of my past, no more erasable than the happy ones which I cherish. But at the same time, in the past they must remain. This week, I returned after eight months away, not knowing exactly what to expect, but certainly assuming it would be something similar to what it had been. The next time I return, it will be with a slate not wiped clean of the past, but also not encumbered by it.

Tomorrow, I fly back to SF after having spent a few days at home in OC. And Saturday, I return to Chicago. I do not know the next time I will return to the Bay at this point—probably not again this year. But when I do, whether the sights, or the sounds, or the people are the same or not, I will be different. And you know what? That is probably a good thing.


Such elegant writing...I must see one of your 12(b)(6) motions.

Rohit, I'm glad you've changed because I never really liked the old you.

Winston, I don't think you could handle my 12(b)(6) motions.

Ryan, I neither liked the old me, nor like the new me; but there's not much that can be done about that, now is there?

Add Comment





* required field

E-mail addresses will never be displayed. The following HTML tags are allowed:
a abbr acronym address big blockquote br cite del em li ol p pre q small strong sub sup ul