I know what it’s like to leave, come back, and have your body betray your loathing of the present. When presented with a map, your eyes dart to where you’d rather be. Your feet point in the direction you’d rather be walking. Your mouth emits sentences tinged with nostalgia.
Use the Internet and watch it become even more amazing than it already is. Used together with a little improvisation, you can get almost anything you would be consuming back home—music, movies, books, food, clothes. Almost everything. Where I live the foreigners talk a lot about missing good avocados. You get over it.
Because you’ve never left smudged fingerprints on the walls, and you’ve never hidden a report card in your pillowcase, and you’ve never sat in the driveway waiting for some boy to pick you up, some boy whose name you’ll forget in five years.
“If you’re interested in visiting movie houses, there’s a ton nearby. The Home Alone house is in the suburbs, and John Hughes shot basically all of his movies here,” someone offers. My eyes light up like I’d just snorted any number of white, powdery substances.
I am the quiet one in the crowd with an approving nod and a warm chuckle, the one who just smiles at whatever you say. Looking spineless and overly agreeable, I give affirmative responses to most questions and suggestions while appearing to be afloat in my own world. To an outsider, it is one that seems to be without many words.
I generally consider myself to be a little lonely in the family department. My father, stepmother, and baby brother moved back to the Philippines two years ago—almost 9,000 miles of flight away from me. My older brother (and best friend) is moving to Ohio, for grad school. And I live alone in a sleepy city in New England.
That’s the big thing that happens when you live at home. You have sex in weird places, and you love your parents more and more, even as they annoy you and stifle you and make you feel twelve again. You see them as people, real people with real feelings and problems and hopes that both are and aren’t related to you.
It is irritating to keep finding new, yuppie words on the Times website, but at the same time, I want one of these “microhouses.” You can learn how to make such things by watching Diedricksen’s YouTube series “Tiny Yellow House” (the first episode is above, and in it he teaches you how to make a “hickshaw — a rickshaw for hicks”).
You’ve endured the months (perhaps years) of threatening notices, the drudgery of paperwork, the court dates and legal filings, and now, congratulations! You have your “law date.” Your law date is the day the police can kick you and your stuff to the curb. A smart soon-to-be-homeless person like you will implement a plan for managing the strategic time between now and your law date. Here’s what your plan should include…