My home is in your arms. My home, is in your arms. I am at home when I am in your arms, and when you are away I can’t help but be homesick.
How can a person be a home? How can a person be a home, when a home is walls, and doors, and windows and portraits, and furniture, and so much baggage? You are my home; you are my furniture, my windows, my doors, and my portraits. You are the baggage I carry around, waiting to be found, by you.
The heart of it is that I’ve been lonely, a long time now. Maybe I’m hungry, or horny; I could say I’m tired. And, sure enough, all those things would be true. I’m listening to a song that breaks my heart, because feeling my heart break is the best I can do. It’s the most I can manage. It’s hard to simulate solace when there’s no one around.
So, what now? Sulk, mope, wallow? I had what I’d been looking for. Parts of it, at least. Not all in the same place. Not all in the same person. I had love, for a short while, with J. I had home, companionship, safety, a harbor, with S, for even longer; I threw it away. From time to time, I wonder if that is a form of love: what I had with S. There’s no telling now; I’ve been taking shelter in too many places since, with too little judgement. Why it would ever be the same between us, I can’t say.
Maybe I need to be lonely for a while. I’d been neglecting my loneliness, mistaking it for other things. Maybe what I need, in order to understand it better, in order to know how to cure it, is to pay attention to it for a while. To let it be.
Do what it was I used to do before; that fourth stage of Freud’s misguided developmental stages, the Latency Period. Study, work, craft. Take care of myself, and not in the sexual way; food, sleep, meds, on a regulated schedule. I’ve already come up with a strategy to gain weight: eat every meal twice. Only took me, what, six months to figure that out? It’ll be nice to not have my butt hurt every time I sit down on a hard surface.
Reading about werewolves probably won’t make it easier. Pack, mutt, Change. These words bring me back to that longing, that loneliness, that dream. Dream of a home, a person who will be that home. Kelley Armstrong’s Elena Michaels is a visceral narrator, a good choice when looking for a fictional character through which to live vicariously. But, these words–Pack, mutt, Change–also bring me back to my own body; physical sensations, something towards which I’ve cultivated a level of neglect explained by my, ahem, early history. The SACEC (Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center) brochures say it’s a coping mechanism: deny the body, deny the experience. The theory certainly explains the persistence of my bladder “control” issues well into middle-school. Whoever said all coping mechanisms were created equal obviously didn’t try ignoring their bladder.
It’s strange. Up until last year, I’d always thought of home as a place, a destination, a location. I was so sure that my home waited for me at the end of a driveway, that coming home meant returning to a place where I felt a sense of belonging. Maybe, having moved around so much, I mistook home for a place. I spent too much time bonding with places, instead of people. I didn’t do that life-changing bonding-thing, whatever it was, with a person, friend or otherwise; I never gave my all to a person, never took others seriously enough. Never gave them enough credit. Place trumps person. But then, places don’t have the option of being temperamental or fickle.
What if that’s my lesson? What if, at the end of the day, after all my tantrums over Motherland and Exile, the home I make ends up being a person who doesn’t want to go there?
What if my lesson is, that the home a person is, is stronger than the place I call home? What if I have to choose person over place. I’ve already chosen my place; I chose it years ago, and my resolve has only gotten stronger that I will go back there once I have things in order. What if the person I choose doesn’t belong there? What if the person — I — choose — is more important to me than that place?
What I’m terrified of, though, is that I will choose the person over the place. Everything I’ve ever told myself, about home, identity, culture, allegiance, and my various superiority complexes, is based on that place serving as center. More than having been wrong all this time, what really terrifies me is that it will be okay. That I will make the adjustment. Not because I’m afraid of being happy.
I’m afraid. Afraid of abandoning what I always thought was most dear to me. I’m afraid that there’s something better than what I’ve been holding on to, because it means I have to let go of the only thing I’ve ever known.