falling asleep to the sound of cassandra's acoustic guitar, i remember waking up to the sound of jaejin's electric one, jamming to a hendrix lp at 7am, or over the ever-present background noise of miles' davis' "bitches brew". sometimes it would annoy the hell out of me, but now i sort of miss it. just like i'll miss the songs cassandra plays every night, the ones i almost know by heart. part of me has fallen in love with everyplace i've ever lived. each town has a distinctive smell. one night i was walking in berkeley, and blurted out "this street smells like tucson" to my friend. each town has a distinct odor, feel, look, taste, & sound. i associate tucson with dried pineapple and tortillas, syd barrett, the rincon mountains hanging in the background through it all, and the brittle dryness of the grass beneath my hands. pittsburgh is juliana hatfield's "hey babe" lp, and puffed kashi with edensoy, and overcast skies, and air thick with industrial grit. oakland? oatmeal and toast. toast in endless quantities that me or orion dumpstered from corncheap's or vital vittles. well, we dumpstered the bread. the toast was our doing! oakland is also american music club, the black nylon robe from the free clothes bin at people's park (abrasive against my skin), seaweed cooking in the kitchen, and the dry hills stripped of their beauty in a brush fire. and hollywood, florida is bold and the melvins (unfortunately!), and topeekeegee yugnee park, and macintosh apples, and rollerblading in the hot sun on sheridan street, and lori's pot smoke polluting the air. my friends hear about the jobs and the houses and the people, but they don't hear about the way i get immersed in each town. how, when just one of my senses triggers a memory of a place, all five senses come alive and i'm once more immersed in the environment where i initially experienced it. people i meet in passing leave such vivid impressions. the kid from english class who told my friend he thought i was "fucking ugly." the lady from missoula selling candles to benefit a choir at the tucson park. the kid at that show in concord, california who looked as if his best friend just died. fluffy the cat, meowing at me through the back door because no one at her house ever feeds her (well, i guess it's not just people who affect me...) and everytime i leave a place after being in an intimate relationship with it for several months, it feels natural. even when it sings a bit. and i often forget that it's not this way for everyone. that most people spend most of their lives in one place, and if they do move, they stay for years. but me, i bleed the blood of the saguaro and the oak simultaneously. and when this wanderlust is imbedded in someone as deeply as it is in me, to fight it would be suicidal. so i embrace it sometimes, and restrain it a bit when i need to, and let it lead me where it will.