I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

Tearing The Cocoon: Back Home

Back home...

[Previously on TTC: No more of that. I was finally back in my space. My own personal space. A space now greeting me with a stale pocket of air, a straitjacket, plenty of echoes from the past, and shadows, dark silent shadows.]

I was back home, and not a happy camper.

Where was home anyway? Good question. I was in London, England, the place where I spend much of my time when not on the road. You’d think London qualifies as home because of this arrangement, but the notion of a homecoming eluded me upon my return. Not because I longed to be where I had been born and raised, Cyprus (my real home? No, not quite) but because the notion of ‘home’ had assumed an elusive meaning after my Behind The Mirror experience.

In NY, both on the set and off the set, I had felt a strange sense of belonging, one I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I was happy there, strangely content. Everything felt natural and fulfiling. In a way NY and Behind The Mirror had become home, and I had just left it to return to the place where I normally lived.

Saying goodbye to the movie-making experience had been hard enough. It was like saying goodbye after an amazing summer session at summer camp. The bonds were strong, the activities rich and empowering, and it was hard to say goodbye to all that, no matter how full to the brim I had been and how exhausted I had gotten rubbing shoulders with others. My return ‘home’ was bitterly ironic, laced with the sweet feeling of privacy restored, schedule restored, normality and order resumed, resulting in home bittersweet home away from home.

From the moment I landed in the UK I was injected with slight doses of a reality all too familiar, yet at the same time alien. Like a bird coming home to roost, I was relieved to be back, but also felt oppressed. Like a butterfly forced back into its cocoon. Those parts of me which reveled in my being in familiar territory, where I had control and ownership of the basic processes in my life, such as the bed I slept in and the energy I consumed, the food I ate and the space in which I roamed, those parts of me were counteracted by a slow, creeping sensation of something burdensome, something closing in on me, ever so gradually, forcibly, like the walls of a tomb.

Here I was, back in my own space, yet what a grim, lackluster space it was, filled with ghosts from the past, both living and deceased. My every move tied to something someone in my circle believed. My every thought interpreted not in fresh and exciting ways but according to pre-established notions of who I was, based on what others knew about me – or thought they knew about me – from events long transpired.

Here, at home, dwelled the past in all its tormenting glory, haunting me like a curse. Within the walls of my own dwelling and the areas I frequented and the people I knew. Where I went to relax and be ‘me.’

Watch this space for Part 3