This town isn’t mine.

How far do you live from home?

By that, I don’t mean the place where you sleep at night. I mean the place where you grew up and/or where your parents still live (those aren’t always the same place).

I went to see my mom this weekend. First time going to her house since Memorial Day. We had a blast, laughing and cracking up and frolicking with her many dogs. And when I woke up Sunday morning about 5 or so and couldn’t get back to sleep because 1) I ate too much and felt pukey and 2) I was freezing and 3) I just felt sad and bad for some reason, I could go in her room and lay down with her, and know that if I did have to throw up (which I was really afraid of), she’d be there. After a bit, things settled down and I went back to my old room to sleep.

But yet it isn’t home. I was still ready to get back to my apartment and my cats Sunday. For a variety of reasons, I can’t ever again see myself living in the town where I grew up. That chapter’s already been written and filed away, though I do take it off the shelf every now and again to look over.

When I was near the end of my college career, I came home one weekend and felt sad and anxious, and did not know why. Finally I figured that while this was my hometown, it wasn’t home anymore.

In the larger, existential sense, I don’t know where my home is. I know where it is now, but I know this isn’t it in the long run. I know where it used to be but is no more. Cue the Nelly Furtado and U2 songs.

What’s home for you? Where has it been, and where is it now? Are you like my brother, unable to go “home” this Christmas because you can’t afford a plane ticket? Or are you like me, just a drive away?


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2 responses to “This town isn’t mine.

  1. bebehblog

    I don’t have a home. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, so my best childhood memories all happened in places I haven’t seen in 15-20 years. For a while it was my grandparents house, the one constant in our lives, but they had to move into assisted care and now a nice young family is enjoying the pool, fireplace and huge dining room. My parent’s still live in the house where I went to high school but it never felt very homey. I consider this house, the one we bought, where we’ve spent several major holidays, and where we will have our first child to be home, although I know we’ll move again in a year or two.

    Actually, I always felt most at home in South Carolina, which is weird because I have no real ties to the area. Someday I’ll go back and make it my permanent home.

  2. It’s so funny you wrote about this because I had a similar conversation this past weekend. One of my best friends from back home came to visit us with her husband. She was telling me how he’s always ragging on our town being full of rednecks and such. Just like family, I can talk shit all day about my hometown, but nobody else better try it. So, after defending it for a bit, I admitted it’s still a pretty backward place socially (i.e. racist and homophobic), and even though it will always be “home,” there’s a reason I don’t live there anymore. My friend agreed.

    But, my real home is where I live now, with my boy, my cat and my stuff. My Dad’s house is where I grew up, and I have so many memories there, but my home is Greensboro.

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