Write a short story about this, a novella maybe.
Those were the words my friend said to me before I left home. Words I’m going to repeat to myself over and over until I can’t do much else except sit down and write.
But not right now. Not when I’m so busy actually feeling. I feel like writing about a hundred different things everyday. Experiences and stories are being served to me on a silver platter. The urge to record every single happening is so high. I get inattentive at times when I’m talking to someone because I’m mentally writing down how the conversation went for future reference. I’m pretty sure this is a writer thing and I’m not alone.
This may or may not be an excerpt of what I’ll write but if, for no one else, this is for me and M. That’s all that matters anyway.
Time, I’ve come to understand, can be stretched. It can be expanded upon, when need be and it can also be paused, made to freeze if your need is that powerful. It’s hard for most people to agree upon this. But how can I not? Time has literally changed for me altogether as I’ve gone several hours back in time by leaving home.
Sooner than I expected I feel so much at ease with myself. Like this is who I’ve been all along but only allowed to exhibit in the company of a few trusted others. I feel comfortable with who I am and isn’t that ultimately the most important thing?
M is a part of me now that is simply indispensable. We’ve gone back in time, too, in a way. Reliving the start of us all over again. Only this time, we get to see and feel the same things at the same time. There’s no question of missed connections, misconstrued tones, confused (and very often, poor quality) signals. When you love someone from a distance you create a personality, an impression that is – in all imaginable ways – tweaked to your understanding of perfection. But the last few days have made me realize that there’s no such thing as perfect. I am so far from perfect. My definition of it can’t possibly be accurate. And maybe, we don’t really even need perfection.
I am aware that this is one of the best feelings there is. We’ve all been there at some point and the sweet scent of it lingers in our imagination forever. Being happy. In love. Finding joy in the smallest of things – a back rub, a shared meal, an inside joke. I feel other things, too, but cannot explain and that’s why I come back here. Where I can discover what I can’t quite say out loud.
Over the last few days, I’ve been asked how it feels to be away from home, whether I’m homesick, able to adjust, sleeping okay. It is all out of pure, genuine concern and it humbles me to such a great degree. But I almost wish they wouldn’t ask because my response is far from honest and it makes me so angry at myself, my life, a helplessness at the cards I’ve been dealt. Oh, but why would I miss home when I never felt at home? What a silly question is that? Must we just overlook the fact that there are some people who do not grow up with the privilege of knowing how to feel at home at home.
That’s the thing. I believe children that grow up or rather grow out of an environment they simply cannot adapt to but are forced to live in nonetheless, will always find the question “Do you miss home?” to be hostile. Almost an accusation, which will develop into resentment and ultimately confusion, “Why don’t I miss home?”. But how is it their fault? You see, when you’ve understood that you don’t fit in at home you subconsciously search for another safe place. For me, it was my books, it was words and all the spaces between them. It’s really not that different now, except that it includes M’s fingers and the spaces between them, too.
It’s only understandable that having a home, that very concept of being at home and having a place to live and leave becomes an in-built compass. Whatever comes next must be measured, paired up or brought to par with it. It’s the source of solace that has been yours inherently – without having to strive for – and therefore your right to look and expect it wherever you go. You know no other way of living. You are fortunate. However, what happens when that needle isn’t there, when there is no direction or expected standard, no means of understanding what you deserve.
It’s a disconnected, silvery, semi-porous, unevenly segmented, half-there, half-not-there feeling. Like when you want to rest your feet on the bottom of a swimming pool but you can’t quite do it. Your legs flap about desperately trying to reach out but it starts to feel like there is no landing, that it wasn’t there to begin with. You then have the choice to stay afloat or – like me when I was nine – you can try so hard that when you reach, you slip and almost drown. I never got into a swimming pool after that. I knew better than to wish for what was clearly beyond my reach. Once rescued – disoriented and cold – you can feel people peering down at you and hear their voices which are more eager than your own to know if you’re okay. I was okay.