A friend of mine is visiting for a few days and it’s reintroducing me to the city I live in.
It’s too easy to forget those places you see everyday or those places you used to go to; but once you show a newcomer those things that caused you to fall in love with your home on the first place, it becomes easy to see once again.
I’ve enjoyed traveling to our old haunts and remembering again everything that made Boston, Boston for Emily and me.
I feel a little sad that we’re already planning the day that we leave, but at least I can remember why I’ll be sad.
The longest I’ve ever lived anywhere was in my last house with my folks. I was there for a record breaking eight years, the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. As a result, it’s what I most think of whenever I think of “home”. The apartment here felt less like my home and more like, “place where I sleep and keep stuff”. For the longest time, when I talked about North Carolina and Durham, I’d say “Back home,” as though I were just on an extended vacation and I would be returning again at some point.
But over the last few months that’s been slowly changing.
But I’ve started dropping that when I talk about back down South. And I’ve begun to sink more roots down here. There are bus drivers I see every day. There are co-workers, there’s a job, there’s a semblance of a life forming.
When we first moved in, we were sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. We kept our few appliances on chairs. We had a couple of books to our name. And there was no pesty little bird running around on the floor biting at toes.
Now, we have a bed and we brought out the air mattress for Liang to sleep on when he came to visit (because we had a guest!). We have some pieces of actual furniture. Our shelf is slowly filling up with books. And there’s a pesty little bird who runs around on the floor biting toes.
When I walk through the apartment at night, I know where to step without turning on the lights. I know where the floor creaks. I know which burners on the stove cause trouble. I know the sounds of the radiators and their pops and whistles don’t wake me anymore. I know the sound of the lock in the door when Emily is coming home.
And it is home, because it feels like home.