The Possibility of Home

It’s that time of the semester where the weeks begin to fly because you can no longer remember how awesome the summer was–kind of like pain but in reverse, which I guess is what nostalgia is. And I’m a nostalgia junkie, which has led me to do things like move back to Iowa in my late twenties and revisit a relationship I’d had as a kid, back when I was sleepwalking through my parents’ divorce with the assistance of a cornucopia of illegal substances. This time around though it was fancy adult pharmaceuticals. It was me in bad relationships instead of my parents. And you know, literally homes were breaking apart in the summer floods. It’s like the home of my youth was manifesting itself all over again but in new, shittier ways! It was hard. I went a little crazy (I could also make a case for being led there by the hand, but that’s another blog post). Moving away again has given me perspective, even if it hasn’t quelled my craving for home. I mean, I physically feel that distance. But hey it’s been great for the old writing. Is there anything more powerful (either in the positive or negative) than home? And: is it escapable? Also: home doesn’t really exist, right? It’s like Don Quixote’s longing for the Golden Age where knights slew dragons and rescued damsels but, really, it was all just suffering and misery and then the Inquisition came along and…more suffering and misery? I think home, for me, is a kind of utopia in this way. And utopias are doomed to fail. But then we meet people and have babies or not and we get to build our own, new homes. No looking back. Or much looking back but also much correcting. And I feel like I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years here in Utah–building a home with someone. It’s really the first time I’ve ever felt this, or allowed myself to feel it. It feels cool. Like snakes? Anyway, in the process, this has given me some distance through which to view my strange and failed attempt at re-homing in Iowa, and what home means to me. Suffice it to say I’ve been writing around this topic quite a bit. Like, I’m currently working on a story about journalism paste-ups (the nights we’d lay out the high school newspaper to review and edit it before it went to press) which were probably the happiest, weirdest nights of my teenage life. Paste-up. Yeah. You remember that? That shit was crazy. Or: just read Sam Lipsyte’s story “The Dungeon Master” in the New Yorker. Yeah. Like that.

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