I long for the feeling of going back to the place that is all too familiar when you’ve been away for a while. Where you collapse without bending your knees, face landing in pillow, inhaling every memory, knowing where you are.
When I left for my first year of college, my childhood bedroom fell into cardboard boxes. The hangings on the wall, the bed frame, the books dripped down to the floor. A flight and longer drive across my hometown would find me in a new room, one with white carpet and a queen size bed and paint I didn’t pick out.
I’ve been a vagabond since then. Much less glamorous than the 1960s painting I had in my mind. I was supposed to look like Carly Simon. Magic was supposed to find me in the form of rich men wanting to dole out their pool houses to me. And I would walk across the marble in a satin robe, letting my brown hair sashay against my back.
Instead, I’ve folded myself into the vinyl seats of airport benches, stuffing my legs under the cold armrests, keeping my face lifted. Instead, I’ve slept on the chaise in the spare bedroom of a house the man my friend met on a dating app let us stay in. Because we had no money, because we had nowhere to go. Instead, the room next to my uncle’s room invited me, with its purple bedding and hardwood floors. Instead, the king against the window of a house with a crack addict who would open the door when I was gone. And now, the guest room in a house with people who rescued me from the former situation.