I hadn’t realized I was lost when I discovered home this morning hidden somewhere between the sheets. Buried in smoke and buttons while I traveled throughout the states. Home was the hotel room, the desk clerk giving me a new key. I couldn’t remember which room was mine, drunk on travel, two cities a week. A king sized bed or two queens? Loneliness is an empty bed in a room created for more than one.
There was a knock at my door, she was lost, I could tell. This wasn’t her room and she was embarrassed. I get it I said, sometimes we have too much. We fill up on the liquids, let it cloud our minds in places that don’t make sense. The darker the room, the safer the space. If only our mothers knew where we were standing. The teetering in our bodies where we could feel the world spinning. Maybe that’s how gravitational pull worked. In science classes we learned we couldn’t feel gravity or the earth’s rotation. It’s funny to think, I’ve felt it every time I’ve crashed into the ground. I could see the stars spin, how do we know we aren’t the center?
I always thought the sense of home had to mostly do with smell. Sure, there is the feeling of safety, of familiarity, of being unconditionally loved. Smell is the strongest trigger to memory. The honeysuckles growing outside reminded me of summers long ago. When summer meant time off and I had yet to learn how to worry. Summer is now what I save up for. Different places to visit looking for spots to sprout my roots.
When I was little, my house always smelled like coffee. A scent indicating morning when my parents filled up on their ways to work. In every city you find shops, the smell wafting throughout the street. I think, this, this could be my home. A transient woman and a gypsy soul always wanting a seat by the window. The rain comes and so does the sun. In every city there are clouds.
I have spent countless hours traveling to see where I belong. And maybe that’s all there is. Home is where you create it, not where you look. It’s the airplane inside the atmosphere. The houses are toys, model places with perfect lives. It’s easy to be removed from everything when you are flying through your life. I land and take the stairs to my room, someone built these steps for a reason.
But that girl and I, we found homes inside ourselves while moving in our space. This city reminds us of another place, another time. Home is being where you are and working towards the better. Where you create your goals and try everything you can. Home is the strangers offering smiles and directions, laughing at easy jokes being made. Home is the curious dog being walked sniffing the coffee scent in the air.
For many, home is a place. But, for the girl and me, it’s just our shoes.