This past semester, I’ve been experiencing intermittent fits of nostalgia, bouts that are somewhere between deja vu and wishful thinking. I’ve tried to translate them into throwback playlists, phone calls to old friends, picking up old habits… But so far, nothing seems appropriate.
It is only now that I’m discovering my fear of writing about these nostalgic moments. There is something about describing them that seems daunting – as if, once I write them off, they will cease to exist. And the fear signifies that I don’t want them to disappear.
It is also now that I realize: I can’t even begin to write about these moments. Aside from fear, there aren’t even words that are worthy enough. These moments cannot be described through a compilation of images, of specificities.
For example, I could say that walking down Shattuck way past Dwight to a discrete, little beauty salon “reminds” me of being back in SoCal in the Little Manila on Amar when I’m en route to getting my eyebrows done. And I could also say that the weather was both musky and clean, much like summers in the 626. And that there was something hazily orange about that day, like everything was saturated and washed out by sun all at once.
But, even pieced together, that can’t create my real experience walking down Shattuck, feeling like I was back home.
Still… all the while, maybe, the beauty of never telling something exactly like it is, simply because it’s an impossible task, is what makes words and images so worth creating.
The urge to shape this nostalgia into something a bit more tangible is so strong.