Friday, May 18, 2007

Familiar and Unknown

When I flew into Reno, the pilot took a different route than I was used to, so I sat peering into the dark, trying to identify landmarks and coming up completely lost. I suddenly felt that maybe this wasn't "home" anymore, that everything that was so familiar to me might have changed to the point of unrecognizability and I would be a stranger in my own hometown.

As it turned out, they are doing construction on the main runway, so that's what caused my disorientation. Reno has changed, but I still recognized people everywhere I went, and as usual, my reaction to these encounters depended on who I happened to see. Most of them I didn't greet, either because I thought they might not remember me or because I had no desire to speak to them. Mostly the latter. Even though we've lived in Boulder two years, I'm certainly not to the point where I know people anywhere I go, and I'm thankful for this. I'm also thankful for not having drama and a past in Boulder. I lived a very boring, drama-free life compared to most of my friends, and yet even I have ghosts I'd rather not run into while shopping.

This is why people from small towns leave.