It's very easy to take for granted how many things you know about a familiar place. Making some progress at rebooting my store of local knowledge. As mundane as it might seem, I was very happy to find a publically accessible microwave in my building (3rd floor of Towne) to hang on to my cherished habit of nuking my chipotle leftovers for a second half-lunch. I found the departmental supply closet, and rediscovered where Boon's office is and scheduled a meeting with him this tuesday at 3pm.
But nightspore recently posted an eloquent defense of just this sense of disconnected bewilderment that I'm presently swimming in:
[...] There's a freshness and excitement about this new daily routine, the longest commute yet. You're not just going around the familiar places in your neighborhood any more, but heading elsewhere, escaping. You go through neighborhoods you don't know, and I could see how even taking the bus was going to be a kind of tunneling for him, entering near where he lived and exiting at school, getting there via a corridor through a world outside his world.
It made me feel that time was splintering into space. I used to sense the energy and promise of that kind of trip every day. Now I saw him headed down a corridor I can't go down any more, as though I'd driven right by its entrance and glimpsed its whole length as I passed. Space is different for me, now that I know my way around: wider, calmer, less interesting. It's all continuous, and so there is no escape elsewhere. I miss the train that whisked me away every day, lending, even to the tame return home at dark, romance and possibility and promise for tomorrow, making each night another exhilarating tunnel into the future.
I should remember to pause and relish this opportunity I have for being in a place that I will not always so easily be able to get back to in the future: somewhere strange and new.