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I walked out to the ballpark to take some pictures of the yellow trees, and on the way down the street, the wind picked up. "Hello, mother," I said. It's funny, by that's who the wind felt like--not my biological mother, but a mother, and mine. And the way she blew at and around me made me laugh.

The afternoon sun made it feel so much like summer that I said, "Thank you," to no one in particular. The spirit of the place, I guess. And while walking toward the ballpark, I couldn't help but be filled with nostalgia. Everything seemed to have tendrils creeping out, reaching for me: the way to C street, the pine needles forming a new floor beneath the trees, the line of pitcher's mounds, the space in the backyard of our old house where my treehouse tree was supposed to be, etc. All these sights pulled at me.

On my way back up the main road, a breathy "This is my second-to-last day here" rushed through my mind. My heart began to beat faster, and I stopped at the crossroads the road formed with the street where I lived. No, no, no. Clear your head, I thought.

After a while, I walked on home, as if to ignore the voice. The wind picked up again, but I didn't feel it. Instead, I heard it at my back, calling me and calling me away from home. No, I thought. Please.

How can a place with so few people feel so much more alive than where I've spent the past year, and that much more dangerous? Why do I feel so betrayed?

As I punctuated the first question and began the next, the wind came briefly through the window as if to nag or intimidate me and jiggle my elbow. Then it drew back, and the room felt as though no wind had been there.

This is not the first time I've written about the weird wind in Kalsangi; one of these days, I should post that old essay.


The Last Time I Was Here

January 2012
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