I’ve lived in this mid-sized Western town for about six years now, having moved from the East Coast. Teenage Bagel did not want to move here. Teenage Bagel hated everything about this place. I remember that, to me, everyone looked alike, talked alike, thought alike. I remember being alternately annoyed and rabidly curious about Mormons and forest fires. I remember thinking that a couple mountains didn’t hold a candle to the Atlantic. Stupid new home. Stupid cows. Stupid life. ANGST.
But when I got over the angst and started looking around…
I noticed that this new home had its charms.
It was certainly a little weird. Maybe eccentric is a nicer word?
Either way, there’s something that eventually came to say “home” about this place.
My entire family is leaving this town. My sister is also headed to grad school in the Southeast. My dad got a new job on the East Coast. And my brother is in some unpronounceable city in the Middle East. I had always thought that wherever my family was, my home was. But now that we’re not all together, is home something that exists for us anymore? It used to be a tangible thing. I could point to a map and, knowing where they were, say, “This is home.” Now “home” is turning into a concept, like “faith,” or “hope,” or “Charlie Sheen’s career”: an idea, and maybe nothing more.
Still. If “home” were something more than a concept, I think I would like mine to be here. They say you can’t go home again. I say “home” is where you hang your knit graffiti.