21 December 2008

No Place Like That Place Where the Heart Is

So, I recently returned to my parents' house to stay here for a while and celebrate Christmas. It's great to see my family and our dog, whom I love, and it's great to have a laundry machine that's in the building rather than down the stairs, around the corner, and tucked into a shack that looks like it could also be temporary living for LA's homeless population. It's also nice to have unlimited food at my disposal and free of charge--I was really starting to improvise with cooking at my apartment (which I guess can't be a bad thing really).

Anyways, the whole time while I'm describing this situation I'm deliberately avoiding the use of any notion of 'home,' the reason for which I'm writing this post. It's strange, and relieving in a way, how second-nature my being here doesn't feel. I've heard a lot of people remark recently, "I'm so excited to go home," "Ugh, I can't wait to just get back home," as if the place they've been living at for months and months has been some never-ending sleepover at a friend's house or something. I mean, I say things like that at the end of every day, and I'm talking about going to my apartment, greeting my roommate, and zoning out.

When I was living in New York, I felt the way I think many people feel. Their living space at school is temporary, whereas home, it's permanent, unchanging, and comfortable. When I came home then, as hostile and tense as the environment quickly came (for reasons that will remain untold), for a while it was all that warm-and-fuzzy shit it was supposed to be. I don't feel this way now, and not only is it refreshing but it's also gratifying.

Upon leaving my apartment, I was somewhat sad and wistful, knowing that I would actually miss it, because now I think that's where I feel at home. Being here at my parents' house--it's strange--not in a negative way, but in a way that is constantly reminding me of myself, and the fact that I'm here. It's no longer second-nature just getting around the house, I have to be more deliberate. In a way, I feel like I'm speaking my native-tongue for the first time in a while, but it no longer remains my natural language. Yeah, that's how it feels. As if speaking English suddenly became less instinctual. I suppose all this really means is that I'm moving on, which should come neither as a surprise nor as a pat on the back. It's only natural. After all, Orange County was the only populated coastal region of California that went for McCain in November. I think that's a small hint of how much of an anomaly I felt while living here.

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