I just returned home to Queens after a month in my first love/home Funwater, and I think the travel back acted as a symbolic rebirthing. This was not intentional or wanted, necessarily–like, I’m not eagerly looking for a rebirthing, but the journey had such heavy-handed symbolism that I don’t know what else to call it. It was like going out to a restaurant for a dinner and instead of bringing out what you ordered the waiters bring you a slice of cake, and when you ask for silverware they bring back candles and a wrapped gift. And you say, “Oh, you’re throwing me a birthday party? Is that what’s happening?” And the waiters deny it, say they’re just a restaurant, then start singing the birthday song.
I had gone back to Funwater because my family was all moving away. All of them were packing up and heading to the midwest, and this might be one of the last times for the family to all hang out in our childhood town. I was able to stay for a month because my company has an office in Funwater where I could work remote. It was this office way back when where I used my barbering skills to secure the job that brought me to New York City. On the first day back, I found out this office is likely closing and everyone was discussing whether they need to start looking for jobs and whether they too should leave town. I spent much of the trip in heavy conversations with my friends about what any of us are doing with our lives, and trying so hard to be happy. Then my parents called and said they were moving earlier than anticipated and I needed to grab all my old things before they were thrown away.
I came to Funwater with a duffel bag filled with clothing and netrunner cards(in case anyone wanted to play netrunner!). I left with so much more. I’d kept most of my boardgames in my parent’s garage, and they’re too beautiful to part with, and so I replaced all the clothing in my duffel with games; then also packed two large boxes to check-in with games too, and kept them from moving on the flight by filling the cracks with my clothing. I also found a fully functional (but decade old) macbook, a ton of useful wires, and some old electronics that I’m too sentimentally attached to. These last things were too delicate for check-in, so I grabbed a carryon bag and stuffed it. When I left for Funwater I brought two laptops: a personal one and a business one. On my last day there, the IT guy asked if I wanted to upgrade my work laptop (since they had a bunch extra from another office closing). I said yes, he said to also hold onto the old one, and I could clean it when I got back.
And so this is what I carried with me to the airport on the final day: three large boxes stuffed and taped with mysterious things; A backpack filled with: three laptops and all their chargers and wires, two small boxes of premade netrunner decks, a journal,5 pens, a Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Leguin book, the book “Techgnosis”, a tarot deck, Jodorowsky’s guide to tarot, a beginner’s guide to alchemy and a large textbook I had been gifted called “PSYCHEDELIC SHAMANISM”; and a carryon bag filled with: another laptop, a ps2, a super nintendo, controllers for both, wires for both, a bunch of other wires that looked good, several games for both, and a handful of blank cassette tapes. I’d packed all this so well, then Angelica pointed out that I’d forgotten my binder of Netrunner cards (i don’t know why I packed so much netrunner), and so I would have to just carry it. On the ride up, while trying to place back some cards that had fallen, I got a deep papercut and so entered the airport carrying the binder with one bloodied hand.
I, of course, was stopped at security. It was the bag of wires and machines that did it, and not the bloody hand or backpack filled with magic and psychoactive craft. The security guard unzipped the bag and cassette tapes spilled out all over and he asked me, “What exactly do you have in here?” And I explained in order and he said, “Get a PS4!” I said I’d consider it.
And so here I am, the brilliant butterfly fresh from the coccoon–a coccoon of firewire cables and accessible esoterica, of sentimental german boardgames and obsolete technology that I feel awful just tossing out. And here I type to you, in my sweltering Queens study on my new online diary with all my possessions now here with me. I am fresh from a trip that felt too symbolic, surrounded by unpacked thigns that all feel talismanic, and I am here to say, “Oh, hi! how are you!”