13 April 2010

Going Home

I arrived in America at 4pm on Saturday - to be specific I arrived at the Chicago airport. Even before I got through to the airport, it transpired that my airline had cancelled my forward flight a couple of days beforehand, without ever informing me. This meant that I had to call the friend who was picking me up to let her know I'd be getting later. But when I tried to use my (American) credit card to make a phone call, the phone endlessly informed me that it was "checking billing data," and never connected. I then tried to e-mail her using one of the airport terminal ancient internet computers, but when I stuck my (American) credit card into the slot provided, the terminal informed me that there had been an "error while transferring my billing data." There didn't seem to be any problem when I bought a cup of tea at the Starbucks, so all I could think to myself was how American to have these communication devices that look just fine but then don't work. And how American to expect everyone to carry their own computer (because there were just four internet terminals in the entire airport), and so not to bother to get newer, better public terminals.

And everyone was fat. EVERYONE. And the airport was so big, and so ugly, and so filled with places where you could ONLY buy ugly prepackaged food. And I was zombified with tiredness and confusion, and filled with sorrow, and I thought, I hate America.

And then I got here, to Otherhome. And we went out for dinner at a restaurant that had TV's on both sides of the booth, and when I got up in the morning it was 70 degrees (21c) at 10am, and EVERYONE was fat, or wearing a baseball cap, and all the men were unattractive, and everyone looked thick (physically) or uninterested or uninteresting and when I went into a place I knew to get a piece of cheesecake to go the waitress said to me, "It's a gorgeous day outside - now you be sure to find some sunny spot to eat that!" and I thought to myself, It's fucking 80 degrees (26c) outside; how can you call it a beautiful day, and where isn't there a sunny spot? and then I felt like a terrible person for getting angry over what this nice person had said. And then I went into my department today, and it was baking hot outside in APRIL, and there was so much unnecessary room, and all the students looked intellectually dead and...and...and it's not my home, and I don't want to be here, and...and.

I hate this country. I don't want to live here. It's weird, and too glossy, and filled with the wrong kind of bigness, and I don't fit anymore. I hate it here.

Overprivileged, gift-horse-in-the-mouth-looking, shameful me. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here.


Casey said...

Keep eating the cheesecake and sit around moaning like this and your body will fit right in, yo. And frankly, I think it would be poetic justice. Must be nice not to have to be the person who goes to the gym constantly for a year, being in constant pain the whole time, working out until you puke, STILL being grossly overweight, and then having people everywhere you look telling you how disgusting and "thick" you are. Instead of moaning about how your precious sensibilities are so offended by having to-SOB!-see fat people and how so very traumatic that is for you, maybe you ought to enjoy your own functioning body and thank whoever you believe in that you don't HAVE to put up with having lives and bodies like, oh, say, mine.

Furthermore: hate where you are so bad? Then stop whinging and work toward changing it. Take a good long lok at why you are where you are, and figure out what you can do to make it better. You are (by far) old enough to be expected to know better.

Vespertina Quies said...

Oh, how interesting, I know you. Actually, I do have to go to the gym constantly - you'll notice that nowhere in that post did I say I wasn't overweight. You will also notice that I didn't say I told any of these people my thoughts. And as it happens I do thank whomever I believe in that I have a functioning body - I do that thanking every day (yo).

As for whinging and working toward change, no fear. I am certainly doing the latter, as well as the self-analysing you suggest - thank you for your thoughtful ideas. But of course an important part of the process of being a whole and reasonably even person is occasionally venting. And that's what blogs are for!

Casey said...

oh how interesting, do you indeed? i had thought that "know" might be too strong a word, more like "have seen about," but regardless, blogs and comments to blogs are indeed good ways to vent. particularly when humans have so very many issues and when there are more issue interactions than all the drug interactions courtney love has ever self induced.

my issues have issues with your issues, and they're not coming over to play anymore. in fact, they're going home and taking their toys with them, until such a time as they become bored again ;-)

Rosasharn said...

Well, I know VQ but not your angry interlocutor. Whatevs.

What I wanted to say is that yes, the USA is full of overweight people. Blame the processed food corps and the government, frankly, for the way that the farm bill is structured (making horrible corn, soy & wheat calories so cheap for big-food-corp). It's a sad state of affairs and a public health problem, and you're entitled to want to escape: There's research that shows that obesity & for that matter skinniness(like so many human conditions) is catching, spreads through social networks.

I was also thinking about the many many beautiful, slim, lithe people S works with, which is obviously also about education, food-culture, and class. Come to the NE to visit lovely, crowded, educated liberal cities, and I know that you won't feel as miserable. We miss you here, but we don't begrudge you going home.