It’s funny, because I always have a very particular feeling about my own relative homelessness. I don’t take genuine homelessness lightly, but this has been weighing on me for some time.
I’ve been drifting a bit. The place that was my childhood home, the house that my family has lived in since the late 1970s, was sold recently. I’ve been back in town, on a hiatus of sorts from grad school. Although I think anything that lasts nearly two years is probably more of a furlough. And then I was back in the room I occupied for two years before I left in 2009. And also when my parents got divorced in 2003.
I have a lot of history with that house. It was where I spent my summers, mostly reading a lot of Tolkien. It was where I spent many a school-day afternoon, waiting for my parents to get off of work and sucking at video games with my cousins. I should be upset. I should be angry. I should be…something.
But a weird thing happened. I have been feeling weird ever since I got back to Miami, and it’s been kind of a home-stay without any sense of satisfaction. It hasn’t really felt like I’ve been home. More like I’ve been in a home-like zone, without really being able to stop and take a nap. Basically, the building that helped raise me has been more of a crutch than a place of respite. It’s maybe even be keeping me back, keeping me complacent and satisfied with less than I want, less than I need.
And then last week, all the music stopped.
My folks closed on the house. Everyone swung by, sniffing back their tears, to say their goodbyes. My cousin Q and I both snagged some long-ago-salvaged street signs from that time that that guy ran into the stop sign on the corner. (I remember that well, because we snuck it all into the house under the cover of pre-dawn, with nothing but a wrench and some ill-placed excitement.) We all bid the tiny village of El Portal farewell, with many a backward glance.
Now, I’m here. A weird community, which is my favorite sort.
I’m further away than I’ve ever been from the artsy, younger part of the city that I have always loved, and I may be really close to the almost entirely octogenarian population of Aventura. But I am seriously enjoying it here. The quiet isn’t disconcerting, so much as it’s incredibly peaceful.
Maybe I’m getting old.
We got into a thing with some extremely friendly Russians, and now we’re all hanging out in this apartment off a lake just west of the Bay. It’s extremely reminiscent of the place we had immediately after the Divorce, a sweet, old, roomy 2B on Biscayne Bay. I’m a bit further north now, and not quite so east, but it’s the first time in about ten years that I have truly felt at home. I look out the window, and see water, and feel eerily calm.
That homeless restlessness has been chasing me for years, I realized the other day. And my family home wasn’t the cure. It never kept that feeling at bay, and maybe that’s why I’m not upset.
There’s still so much unpacking to do. But after a week of cleaning and moving, of mopping, and Windex-ing, and shifting furniture around and scrubbing…the restlessness has faded somewhat. Now instead of a high-pitched ringing in my ears, it’s more of a dull thud that I only hear for a moment when I wake up. Before I realize where I am. Before I realize that I’m home, and there’s no rush, and it will all go just fine.
I do wonder what I’ll do if I ever start to hear it again…but in the meantime, I’m just going to watch for the sunrise.
Miami by night. It's a view that nearly makes up for what it feels like on the ground.
At last a place call home.
University of MiamiHome away from home. It's always a sunny day here, even on rainy days ;)
University of Miami, forget diamonds! Canes are forever! ;)