November 7, 2023
I’m about to leave this place so maybe what I want to write about is it. I’ll only be gone two months or eight weeks or 60 days or I could translate that into a certain number of hours but that seems like a clichéed use of my words.
I keep thinking what if this time I don’t come back? What if I find work there? What if I fall in love there? What if it leads me somewhere completely different that’s not here? But I’ve left this place for what ifs before and it’s always welcomed me back. It’s the home I’ve lived in for the longest since I left my childhood house, yet it’s also the place I’ve left most often.
So, on the off chance I’m to make a home somewhere else, I want to bottle what made it one here, but as I scan the room in which I eat, sleep, kiss, dance, cry, giggle, hug, listen, share, fuck, hurt, heal - everything in, I find it hard to pinpoint what makes this my home.
Is it the spot on the couch from which I watch the sunset? I definitely feel most secure when nestled in the corner of my grey couch. There’s a blue checkered blanket that I wrap around my knees even if it’s mid summer and sticky hot. My safe space is that corner with that blanket at sunset. Probably less than a square meter. And everyone loves sunsets, I get it, but hear me out: the sunsets from that corner of that couch are emotional, like when Tom gets lost in a painting of just shapes in Parks & Rec. The photos I share will forever disappoint, but my memories of them feel like the old school slideshows our parents used to put on after trips, the ones with the little squares they called slides before slides were made by consultants who never sleep, where they’d sit all the cousins and siblings down and furrow through the box of memories, then pull out one and put it in and then have to take it out and flip it 180 degrees so it’d be straight up. They’re not just pretty pictures, they’re moments, they’re lived.
Is it where I’m sitting right now? My back against the window, my butt on the sill, smoking a joint and watching the ashes fall on my dress and make a tiny hole that I guess I’ll have as a memory if one day I do actually leave this place for good? I’m reading a book but I can’t seem to focus because what’s running through my brain is how the music resonates in this room and how the art I just put up on the wall makes it feel complete somehow, and how the five plants I own have grown so much since I got them even though I basically killed baby plants for a living before I moved here.
When I was sitting right here a couple of weeks ago, when the weather was still nice, I looked at the building that I’m facing right now and there was this guy who was also sitting on his sill. Legs crossed, just looking at the sunset, probably, and he waved at me and we both giggled. I wish there was a village in this little courtyard hidden from the world by the four streets of buildings. This little square feels more like my neighborhood than my actual neighborhood.
Is it the fancy linen sheets I got and that make me feel alone but not lonely when I crawl into them? I remember when I got this classic Ikea white framed bed. I thought to myself that I would remember the first person who slept in this bed with me and then the first person I fucked in this bed and then the first time I cried in this bed, that this bed could be a sanctum for new firsts, a blank space, and now I don’t remember any of those, but it makes me smile not to.
What makes this place home is probably a combination of all of those things and of so many more I can’t share because this essay would be book-length if I did and it’s probably too long as it is. I’ve said a 1000 times before that this is a place I’ve made my own. It’s a place I can call home. It’s a place where all the people and things I love have been.
This is the place I’ll remember most, I think. You know how all those shows we grew up with have this one apartment, the one way too big to be afforded by broke twenty-somethings? Friends and How I Met and Big Bang and all of those, I think this place is that apartment for me, the one I’d put in a TV Show of my life. I imagine sitting in a brown weathered lazy boy at 83 and telling my little brother fondly “Remember when I lived in that tiny square box with the red wall? Remember how I was never supposed to stay there for more than a few weeks, didn’t even have a lease, just a handshake agreement with a family friend and a ridiculously low rent he never raised? I wonder who’s home it is now.”
I don’t know what it is about this place.
Maybe I just color my memories with how it makes me feel. Welcomed, loved, cherished, warm, safe, joyful.
Because it’s just one room in the end. One square with an old fridge that hums warmly from time to time and can only hold one frozen pizza at a time, two large windows that blind me when it’s sunny out, a wall full of books I’m trying to order by color only to realize there’s definitely a trend of using orange and yellow for covers these days.
Unless I’m just drawn to those.
Maybe it’s my love of sunsets.
I am no shrink or life expert. In fact life throws me a lot of lemons. But I'm pretty good at making lemonade, being resilient and (I've been told) giving advice. So, if you need an outsider's perspective, I'm here! On love & relationships, on family issues, on work, on anything really. I'll give you my take and maybe (hopefully) it'll help. 100% anonymous of course.