Before I came here to Europe I was in Oregon for about a year. And Oregon has grass, but it doesn't belong there. It's sod, laid by landscapers. And some houses have a sprinkler system under the sod—which makes it worse. And it is a mess, a muddy mess. Because it rains so much there in Oregon, and the air stays wet. The grass is mush.
And in Spain there was grass. But it was for the cows. Spain is smart. It feeds peoples's addiction to beef, which is very profitable I imagine. And for the most part it raises cows correctly, Spain, letting them roam freely in pastures of grass till they are big and fat cows. In the United States, in Wyoming there are pastures. But Texas and Kansas are disgusting. Ten thousand cows are packed into a space for 100 maybe—I-40 west of Amarillo not even 20 miles probably. And they are lean and skinny, and look completely unhealthy, cows from the United States. And then those are shipped off to feed the United States's addiction to beef. But Spain for the most part raises cows correctly. And the grass is for the cows.
And in Portugal, there is no grass where I am, along the coast. There is sand and water and bamboo and some succulent plants. But I found a little park with some grass and some grills, where I cook my meals. And I will lay in this grass the rest of the day to-day I think, till it's time to cook dinner later, and then I'll walk to the cafe, and then I'll go to sleep. I miss grass.
Illinois has grass. And it's good grass. It belongs there.
And I am a bit homesick, all the way over on the other side of the Atlantic, and then halfway across the United States. I am far from that grass in Illinois. And I am far from my family. Look, it took me even nearly a month and a half to reach Portugal. I am far.
And I took it for granted that I would return again to Illinois, to home. But I am far. And to return is a long way to go. And maybe I will never make it back.
I want to return of course. But there are things that happen that I can't control. And with that distance, I allow more of those things that are out of my control space to happen. And I may never see home again, to be true, I am so far.
And I miss the grass. And I miss little walks to the supermarket with my father, the bullshit we discuss along the way, sharing a cup of some vodka and lemonade maybe, trying to cross that god-awful street, every man for himself. And I miss the walk to my mother's through those nature preserves, where now I stop to visit my sister's grave, and then sitting at the kitchen table with her and the nephew for some lunch, when that same sister used to meet us there before too.
I miss that town, home, walking all over it. The temperature to-day would be perfect to stop at my aunt's for a swim. Then maybe dinner I could go to with my grandmother, then some cards.
But I don't even know if being there would be like that anymore, to be honest. And in truth, I know it wouldn't. And I am only choosing my favorite memories through a lifetime and throwing them into my idea of a perfect day. And when—if—I eventually do return, it will all be different still.
But I miss grass. And to-day I will lay in this grass all afternoon. I miss it so dearly.