Homecoming in changed vowels

So I'm back in the U.S.

When I went through customs, the officer who took my declaration form and passport said to me, "Your accent has changed."

Yes. My California accent had softened into something less conspicuous. Fewer rhotics, tidier vowels. I have a good ear and I'm suggestible in that way. (In addition to not liking to be involuntarily conspicuous. Oh, I felt so self-conscious the first couple weeks whenever I had to speak to a cashier or bus driver...)

I wanted to cry when he said that. I don't want to lose this; I don't want to lose any of it. I want to hold these last three months and know that I can keep them, can keep who I was there and how I felt and what I saw and knew, and I'm not sure yet how else to do that but on my tongue.

2 comments:

Nicole 12/12/2012 12:34 PM  

It's still there Holly. It's in your body, pressed into your skin. You'll find it in your photos when you look back at them. The memories will try to surprise you when you're in the midst of familiarity. And there are others now, to remind you; to mirror who you are to them.

Holly 12/14/2012 11:29 PM  

Nicole - I hope so. Right now it feels like it was just a dream.

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