So disorienting being back on this familiar spiderweb of streets, driving through the night under a glare of yellow streetlights in a borrowed car. Every exit off the freeway, every intersection, every half mile here has a story I could tell you. Some neighborhoods have dozens of stories that tumble into my mind unbidden and all want to talk at once. As often as I seem to keep finding myself back here for one reason or another, it still isn’t exactly home anymore after two years on a new frontier, and yet it always will be home. This contrast puts a weighty, sharp, tangled knot of corded grey-white inside of me. Being back in the area I grew up in feels a bit like that dream you have where you open a door in your house and there’s this whole dusty wing that you forgot about with rooms and hallways and little alcoves that look so inviting, yet are silent from disuse. Am I the only one who has this dream? It always plays out in my sleeping brain that I walk through that creaky door and everything feels oddly familiar and exciting, yet unloved for so long that the strangeness is unavoidable. In the dream, I always tell myself, “You know, I totally forgot this part of the house was here. I gotta remember this.” What do you do with that? I wonder if this peregrine journey will ever stop feeling this way.