Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the ghosts of provo

I think I was a little homesick today. And by a little, I mean really homesick.

The think about homesickness with me is that I'm never really homesick for Provo. I don't sit over here in Hyde Park and wish I were tossing a frisbee at Kiwanis or something. I don't walk down Kensington High Street and feel wistful for the University Mall. I love Provo, and it's my home, but I don't miss it. I guess it would be more appropo to say I'm kid-and-wife-sick, because that's what I'm missing.

I remember being homesick for about five minutes when I was in Finland. That was pretty much the extent of it. It was the first time I got a letter from my mom; I got lumpy in the throat for about a bit, and then I got distracted by something doubtlessly Finnish and was fine thereafter. I was really proud of myself for that. But let's be clear about one thing: I did not have four children when I was 19 years old. There is a slight difference.

Walking around town today, everything reminded me of those I left back home. We walked as a group along the river Thames. It's beautiful as always, despite the color of the water. I love the Thames. But I kept thinking about my son Owen who, at age two, walked along the very same river with me and threw rocks off the Millenium Bridge. Every time I walk down Gloucester Road - which is pretty much every day - I pass the KFC where Miles, on our first day in England, peed his pants. Oh, good times. Love that story. I saw a bunch of little girls dressed in matching red school cardigans today. They were holding hands - the infallible buddy system - and skipping. Phoebe would do that. She'd be at the front of the pack. And don't get me started on Hugh. I saw a lumpy loaf of bread in a Chinatown window tonight. Guess who it looked like?

Why, why do babies have to look like lumpy loaves of bread? So delicious and chewy?

I get to see my wife in three weeks.

Last night I thought I had a ghost in my room. Mostly because I want to have a ghost in my room, because that authenticates the place where I live. But, you know, a friendly ghost. Georgie, maybe. Or the ghost that lived in Adam Boulter's flat. The German lady who woke me up three times in one night. She was nice. Last night I kept hearing creaking boards and rappings on my window. And I'm on the 6th floor of a one hundred and fifty year old building. My ghost turned out to be a pigeon. It flew through my open window at about 5 am, and sat on the bed opposite me. It just looked at me. I was a little scared. I don't like it when birds look at me like that! It looked hungry. Good thing Hugh wasn't around.

I guess I am haunted by ghosts, just living ones. Birds and babies. In time I'll probably get used to the creakings of my floorboards here in London, but, being away from those I love so much, I'm not sure if I'll ever get used to the creakings of my heart.

On a scale from one to ten, how cheesy was that last line?