I live in the dorms, with a hilarious and awesome roommate, taking up half a room with boxes and boxes and boxes of knick knacks, magazine clippings, sunflowers, piles of clothes, and blue, blue, blue.
It’s home. I feel as close to myself as I can be when I’m there, as if my bed is me and so is my wall of paintings and drawings and so is my closet and so is my desk and my bookshelves and my microwave and they are all me and I am them and I am home and home is me.
But even though I love it there, I get restless. I have to move, to leave, to explore – I walk out with nothing but my key and camera in hand and I take long walks and long stares at the world and I sit and I stare and stare and stare so that maybe the world will become me and I the world but I haven’t seen enough world for that to happen yet.
I hear children laughing and crying in the mornings. We live right next to a daycare and there’s an elementary school across the street. You can always hear the roar of plane engines as they swoop so low and shoot up into the sky. There is green grass and street cats that run across the parking lots and a giant blue pyramid that pops out behind the buildings and people smoking at the circle of stone benches and the white clouds that dreamily sway in the morning wind and cherry blossoms that shine bright pink. I smell fresh flowers and cut grass and smoke and urban smells of people and cars and public buses. All of this waits on my doorstep, right outside my door and outside the hall and down the stairs.
I’m not far from where I used to be. Where I grew up as a kid. Just keep driving on the freeway and you’ll get there, where the beach is a five minute walk away and the streets are small and crowded and sand infiltrates your clothes, your shoes, your bag, your mouth, your hair, your skin. If I hadn’t left there so young, those girls would be my best friends and those boys would be my relationships and those teachers would be my fond memories of stupid homework and ridiculous lessons and at that school I would have had my golden years.
Instead though I live in a brick building made up of odd squares stacked at weird angles and everything is green, I swear. When you walk by you can hear people blasting their favorite music or laughing or playing card games like Bullshit and shouting or the grunts and moans of sex. You can smell the cup of noodles and the stench of smuggled-in beer, and who could forget the cheap Christmas lights strung up all year round or the girls throwing up outside or (even worse) in the bathroom because they can’t hold their liquor after partying all night at a frat.
That’s where I live and I love it and hate it and whatever happens it’s home and I don’t want to say goodbye.