When the trees begin to look like silhouettes, I know it is time to go home. I’ve grown up flowing to different versions of this habit because, after all, there is only so much we can see during the day. There is a limited amount of risks we can take while the sun is leaning against window sills waiting for its shift to end. Patiently. And then, after it has done its deed, after the world has watered their plants
and painted their fences some uninviting color
and the storeowners have flipped the “open” sign
after the world has indirectly, but densely, thanked the sun for another day,
I am left with the bitter rhythm of abandonment. “I should be used to it by now” is a grievous understatement. The way the daylight turns to midnight, and back again, it’s primal. And routine. And so, so simple.
Smoke and salmon.
When I was younger, if the sky began to look orange-pink and/or grey, like a salmon being smoked, it meant pedaling my way through the neighborhood back to the two-bedroom apartment as quickly as my feet could push.
Years later, the streetlights, I swore, were a sign from the universe telling me it was too late. Too late to paint your fences. Too late to water your plants. Too late to find your way back home. Because even if I rode through the woods, god speed, and reached the two-bedroom apartment, it would always be too late to learn the definition of home.
What is a home if not more than just shelter. What is a home if not where streetlights mean nothing.
When the trees begin to look like silhouettes, I know it is time to go home.
Like unwrapping a beautiful gift while terrified of all the things it could be, slowly, I am learning:
I find solace in knowing that I will never go back home. Whatever that was. And that’s actually a good thing. Maybe, home is not supposed to be a where but a when. I am home when I am writing, when I am laughing until it hurts. Maybe the bitter rhythm of abandonment is just a lullaby. Bitter but temporary, until I see the dawn again.
when the trees begin to look like silhouettes,
I know I have always been home.