I once read “home is where I feel empty on a Sunday”. God knows, I’ve had my fair share of those. I can’t remember where I saw it and a google search does me no good, but I know it is not mine (although it feels as if it were).
What’s the other saying? Home is where the heart is? This seems true as well, though I’m not sure how to place it alongside the emptiness.
Home is an odd kind of concept. Not the same as a house, space, apartment. Instead, it borders on something between an idea and a feeling— fixing itself into the cracks of people, places, moments.
A hermit crab carries its home on its back. Where do I carry mine?
Before, home was always wherever those I love were. Faculty parties my mom would take me to and rivers to drink coffee next to with my best friend. Museums you leave your heart behind in and 24-hour diners at 4am with your roommates. Wherever a hand is held, a laugh is heard, a smile is born.
It is different now. My apartment cannot ring with the shouting of those who come visit, my bed cannot be shared with friends who giggle into the early hours. There are no parties, no dinners, no hugs or high fives or cheeks pressed against another’s.
We make do as best we can, enjoying the company of those we live with to the fullest but it’s never quite the same. I try to become more familiar with my space— the spots and corners in which I am supposed to discover some grand truth. I spend 10 minutes a day looking in the mirror, hoping I will become something worth looking at. Instead, I feel as if I am wasting away, saturating the room with my aimlessness. What is the point, without other people?
Days become hours become weeks. My entire life is contained to my bed— my classes, my entertainment, the ghost of friends I used to hug— all stuck between my pillows and an old laptop. I now know every creak in the floor, can map out every spot on the ceiling. Still, this is only home when I make it to the living room, rest my head on my roommate’s shoulder and ask her about her day.
I think home is where the heart is, just as much as it is where you feel empty on a Sunday. I suppose home is where you have the comfort to feel that emptiness, the comfort to feel that love. I carry my home in my hands, placing it wherever I’d like. Today, it’ll be in the crook of my best friend’s neck and tomorrow? Well, tomorrow is Sunday.
Home - Isabel Larrea-Clark, from The Virtual Reality Storybook
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