It’s June of 2016, and I am reminded that this time last year I was living in Cairo, Egypt, with my Egyptian wife. 

 

 

In May of 2015 I’d just completed a seven-year run as an Instructor of Rhetoric and Composition at the American University in Cairo.  Earlier in that spring term, in March I believe, I’d resigned my job, effective as soon as I could wrap up my end-of-course grading, because my significant other and I had finally had enough.

 

 

You might be asking, had enough of what?  Well, since about the summer of 2013, starting with the deposing of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, a well-intentioned but incompetent fellow by the name of Mohamed Morsi and then followed up by the mass killings at Rabaa and Nahda Squares, the country had been politically unraveling at an alarming rate.  Eventually, as is often the case in the Middle East when nation-states begin to head south, the IEDs started going off in a wide variety of locales, including our neighborhood.  In fact, on one very memorable Friday morning, an enormous explosion took place less than a hundred yards away from our apartment building in Maadi, a very international part of Egypt’s capital.  This KABOOM shook our entire building and blew windows out of other structures not far away.  It also caused my wife, a lovely woman named Azza (she’s in the background of the selfie I’ve included), to become more than just a little hysterical. 

 

 

Now, exactly one year later, we have become something akin to refugees and are living in San Antonio, Texas, a wonderfully multicultural city. During the intervening months, Azza has successfully acquired a number of important bits of paper.  She has, for example, gotten a green card, a social security number, and a driver’s license issued by the good folks down at The Department of Transportation.  Life, in many ways, is slowly normalizing in this part of South Central Texas.

 

 

In at least one way, life seems a bit surreal too.  You see, I was born in San Antonio many moons ago, and then left when I was still pooping in my diapers on a regular basis.  At that time in my infantile existence, my dad, an enterprising young man of twenty-eight, got a new job in Garland, suburb of Dallas, and moved my mom and yours truly up to north Texas.  It would be easy to imagine that I have frequently returned to my birthplace over the years, but this has not been the case.  Still, as I travel around “the Alamo City” on a daily basis, I am often filled with a palpable sense of déjà vu.  Certainly, the place has changed in innumerable ways since I left it as a pre-toddler, but I can’t help but feel that much of it seems weirdly familiar.  Thomas Wolfe, the fellow who once quipped “You can’t go home again,” was completely wrong in my case.

 

 

I didn’t really plan on making my first installment of my new blog a story about what it feels like to have come full circle, back to the place it all began.  (That just sort of happened.)  I can promise you, though, that follow ups will certainly be about my interests and obsessions, and anything else that might grab and hold my attention.  Actually, come to think of it, there’s really no telling what I’ll write about in these posts.  If you want to see where it all leads, I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned…

Published by Troy Headrick