going home


"It must be so nice to be able to reconnect to the Motherland," my boss says to me today, after I tell him I am going to Nigeria for the holidays. I have no doubt there was a rhythmic drumbeat, maybe something from The Lion King, playing in his mind when he said this. He continued, "I don't really have...I mean I could go to Connecticut," he drifted off, shrugging his shoulders. I imagine that is why people like him become Buddhists and visit the Dalai Lama.

"I really just want to see my grandmother and eat her home cooking," I replied. This is true. And if I only do this, I will be happy. But my boss doesn't get it; he doesn't have people. He is adopted and, now that his parents have passed away, he is orphaned. Both of his daughters died well before their time. I imagine that family is somewhat of a distant reality to him, and life more of an abstraction now.

I can see how much he longs to genuinely connect with me, with anyone, but he is too busy abstracting -- my family and heritage and even my hair -- to really get me. Some guy actually asked me, tonight, whether my dreadlocks were a part of my culture. I replied, "It's just a style." End of discussion. I do not particularly enjoy bursting bubbles, but I don't know why people find messages buried in my hair. I am not that obvious.

I have not packed a thing yet. I actually went to a web site today that, with a few questions answered, will spit back a list of things to take with you on your trip. I am not big on packing or planning, and I think I will end up throwing a few random things in a bag anyways.

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