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Once, my home was a small and unkempt room filled with clothes and furniture handed down through generations of family before me. My home was where my sister was born, where she always got the top bunk, where I tore her portrait in half in anger and taped it back together in shame, home was where we made forts and shot each other with super soakers as we made up songs, running through sprinklers. Home was dirty then, filled with the handprints of rambunctious children, the remnants of mud pies and a collection of stray cats and fallen birds who we vowed to nurse to health. Some of them lived, most of them died. Home is where I tried to bury a box filled with treasure that was really just trash, but trash that I wouldn’t mind finding now, having now, cherishing now. My home is where my childhood flourished.


Once, my home was a newly built house that still smelled like wood dust and plaster. It was clean and pristine and perfect – no mud tracks, no tea parties, no stray animals who might not live through the night. While the singing never stopped, it turned into a whisper and sprinklers were turned on only to nourish the perfectly manicured lawn, the perfectly kept grass that was not for stepping. This home was where I shouted ‘I hate you’ to my mom and screamed at my sister for being a menace and an irritant. This was the home that looked like so many other homes on the block, and inside a family who couldn’t have been more different from the others. This home is where my adolescence almost got the best of me.


Now, my home is with you. Home is you, with your unkempt habits, and me, with my washcloth and gloves, ready to tidy your messes and tie together your loose ends. Now, our home is a once-stray dog and her tendencies to tip over the trash can and chew on pens and your leather shoes. Home is hugging you in the middle of our bedroom and fighting on the outskirts of our kitchen.

Created: Aug 02, 2012


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