I miss home…but my home doesn’t exist anymore. I seem to have found home in locations that only exist in a finite period of time.
Yes, there’s still the house I sorta grew up in, but I haven’t lived in Jacksonville in four years. There’s a Madewell at the town center I didn’t even know about! I can’t tell you which of my high school teachers still teach there. If I see anyone I know in JAX, I actively avoid them. The time I spend in Jacksonville is home because it’s with my family – not because of the location.
But so you see, I made another home in those four years I was gone. I know which streets are one way and I learned how to drive on the disaster that is DC streets. I know the hours of all nearby CVS’s. I figured out how to handle the snow (avoid at all costs), and I can perfectly time when to call an Uber. I fell asleep to city lights and ambulances.
Now, I can’t remember the last time I heard an ambulance. I was probably in DC.
The thing is, the thing that’s keeping me up, if I were to fly to DC tomorrow after school, it wouldn’t feel like home. My best friend doesn’t live two doors down. Or one floor up. Or three blocks down the street. They live ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I used to whine about having to spend $20 to cab to a friend’s apartment on the other side of the Capitol (okay I could have taken the metro for like $3 but that is beside the point). Today, I’d give my left leg for my friends to be only a cab ride away. Hell, I’d even take the metro. Now, everyone I love is a $400 plane ride away! And DC isn’t home. The people who made it home aren’t there anymore.
Yes, I can still stand in the same lobby of the Marvin Center, but the people that made 800 21st St NW feel like a haven aren’t there to stand beside me.