LA trip – part 5
Toward the end of the 10-day trip, others started to show their fatigue. The older pretty girl was constipated, the funny high-school girl was sick from constant car travels, and younger girls had been homesick from day one and counted days to return home.
I was still tired but was sleeping and eating better. A couple of days before the end of the trip, we had a BBQ at a community center run by the church. We were going to spend the night there that day. There was a basketball court, and the boys and active girls were engaged in the sports.
It got dark, and the heat had finally subsided. I went to the opposite side of where the crowd was cheering the shootout. The nice high-school girl came out and sat with me. Before either of us spoke a word, I started sobbing, and I couldn’t stop it. The nice girl told me it was ok – “daijobu, daijobu,” The word soothed me.
The feeling of loneliness was acute. It wasn’t that I missed home because I didn’t. Going away from home was what I had coveted, and I had a preview of it. But I lacked in the anchor that grounded me. With a secure attachment to one’s home, one could travel foreign land free of anxiety and eventually happily return to where they belonged. I felt the bond with my family was precarious. With my cultural identity, I resisted conforming. My soul drifted in solitary. It dawned on me that I’d be very, very lonely on the journey that awaited me. Even so, leaving home in the future felt ineluctable. The path seemed isolated and obscure, but maybe, I’d be ok, “daijobu.”
The last few days were more enjoyable to me, although the constipation pill had turned my gut into playing the full orchestra. I was laughing more with the girls and even with some of the boys.