Day 5 was kind of weird. Normally when I visit my parents it’s an incredibly relaxing experience. I don’t know if it’s them, their house, the heat that bakes the stress out of me or what, but normally I leave their place calm and centered. That didn’t happen this time. And Dad and I had some difficult conversations while driving. He asked me whether I blamed him or held a grudge for moving so much as kids and my opinion on some of his other parenting decisions. Day 5 I was just exhausted. I woke up a couple of times during the night and didn’t sleep super long. I spent a couple of hours hanging out with a good high school friend. He joined the Navy about the same time I joined the Army, so all our stories and shared experiences don’t end at high school.
That was fun to hang out with him, but at some point when I got to the hotel I just crashed. I remember telling myself it was kind of late for a nap but next thing I knew I was waking up a couple hours later. I wandered down the street to have dinner, then met up with my buddy for beers again at a new bar just a couple blocks away from my old dorm. After he headed home I toured the campus.
It was a weird experience for me. So much was the same, so much had changed. Partly I didn’t walk it during the day because I was beat and slept in late, partly because I wanted to walk it at night. When I went to school here, 25 years ago, I used to wander the campus at night when I couldn’t sleep or wanted to be alone. Or we’d get drunk and ride our mountain bikes from frat house to frat house, hitting every flight of stairs along the way. It seemed more natural. But it was surreal. There’s a building across the street from my old dorm. It’s got a very distinctive style and when I saw it, I realized that I’d dreamt of it numerous times over the years. I don’t really remember my dreams when I wake up, but when I saw it, snippets of them came flashing back to me.
There was a little sense of failure to deal with walking around. I always enjoyed my time here, and in hindsight, I’m having trouble remembering why I left exactly. And there was some guilt about being here instead of at the hospital with them, even though I know if I were there, THEY’D be feeling guilty about it.
There’s some antsy-ness. I want to be on the bike, riding and just leaving a lot of stuff on the road, I feel kind of trapped right now, like I’m wasting valuable time. Then there’s the news that snow is coming to Denver about the time I was planning on heading home.