A Half-Hearted Eulogy to a Half-Hearted Home

Home is such a big word, colossal really. You try to nicely slide home into a casual convo and suddenly the atmosphere alters. You are bombarded relentlessly with questions.

 

Where are you from?

What was it like?

Do you miss it?

How about your parents?

Pets?

 

When I moved to Chicago to go to school, it never felt like I moved away from home. Not in that my parents are always with me blah blah blah bullshit. I mean it in that slightly tragic, disheartened kid way because the house I grew up in reeked of manufactured happiness and it never felt like home. And a home, I’ve gleamed from copious sitcoms and blockbusters, is felt.

 

Recently, I moved from my first apartment to a temporary location before I leave in the fall to study abroad in Europe. Ripping my off my cheap posters with George from Seinfeld in that iconic chaise from the bare white walls, giggling with my roommates over who is the true owner of that one malformed candle, and rummaging through the toiletries shelf, tampons flying in a exasperated huff, I felt a pang. In a journey into the real word – that looming, omnipresent background of your entire undergraduate career – what if I lost all my smiles and tears and 2 am Taco Bell runs in the fray? My best friends and I are no longer participants of a 24-hour sleepover, and my 12-year-old self is pissed.

 

But more than that, my 20-year-old self is terrified about finally actualizing that unknown feeling of leaving home.

– Rhi

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One thought on “A Half-Hearted Eulogy to a Half-Hearted Home

  1. Rhi,

    The concept of home reminds me
    I had a horse before my parents divorced when I was 4. I don’t remember her much but she was strong and black and I never rode her. She was sold sometime in the winter along with the house, the farm and the 40 acres of land, my jungle.

    Memories of hunting, me strapped on Dad’s back, my yellow lab Cami bird-in-mouth, a doe and a block of salt. Mom’s step-aerobics, the scent of Pinesol, and the body of bagged vacuum filled while she cleaned house. Me trailing behind her. That and the basement, which came in dreams, nightmares, in another house.

    I imagine the divorce hearing like I imagine Wall Street. They settled on every-other-day custody, exchanging me like a stock.

    I could never bond to a home.

    Then my step-mother came and beat me.
    Then my mother left me.
    Then my mother came back.
    Then my father left me.
    Then my mother saved me.
    Then I moved the fuck out.

    The apartment turned drug den turned rehabilitation center.
    The Victorian attic where I slept alone until I found that married couple.
    The highrise dorms in Chicago.
    The typical hallway down the middle, kitchen in the rear, over priced Chicago Dust Bowl.

    Then there was this place that my pendulum found in Pilsen, my home.

    Those questions you mention from all the people, well they drive me nuts too.

    What are you doing after graduation?
    How are you going to afford to live in Chicago?
    Will you move back home?

    NO FUCKERS, there is no home but here. Here, I live. I live Here.

    -DJ

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