gypsy travels

Broken & Home

April 22, 2017



I want to go home,
But home is the mouth of a shark
Home is the barrel of the gun

And no one would leave home
Unless home chased you to the shore
Unless home tells you to
Leave what you could not behind,
Even if it was human.

No one leaves home until home
Is a damp voice in your ear saying

Leave, run now, I don’t know what
I’ve become.

Warsan Shire

I have long struggled with the idea of home.

I think now that it can’t be 4 walls. I have moved 42 times in 42 years. I just wrote it down, counted, I didn’t realize and I’m reeling from it.
We’re moving again, in July of my 43rd year, and I don’t know where I’ll end up. I never do.

The yellow brick farm house I was born into collapsed into rubble sometime in the last few years.
242 East Gier where all my love lived was sold unceremoniously. Houghton Lake cottage torn down and rebuilt into something big and airy and unrecognizable. Childhood wildling pond and gravel pit filled in and built upon, I hear the basements flood in the spring and this pleases me, the water has her revenge.
My lake remains. Sand castles are as close I have gotten. I want to go home.

I was raised in the mouth of a shark. He in the barrel of a gun.

‘Can’t have clutter’ he says, ‘I was always told we might have to move and to be ready’.

No wonder he can’t settle down. Gypsy kids.


Cold metal, triggers and explosions leaving holes.

Gnashing teeth and primordial instincts, no emotions.

Killing machines both of them.

What’s the difference between a shark bite and a bullet hole? Not much. If you live through it, there will be scars. Muscle memories of being torn apart or pulled under.

I bring my clutter with me, amass more, purge, collect and move again. I decorate and nest just to tear down and rebuild. I have a fear of perfection, I always have to leave one thing unfinished because if it’s done and beautiful that is when I have been forced to move, when the last nail has been driven into the wall to hang the last photograph, the final curtains, fitted perfectly and sewn just to be taken down and put in a box or a trunk until the next house.

Equal and opposite reactions to the same thing.

He was raised to believe home equaled prison. I was locked out of mine.

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone…You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself…

(Garden State)

That point came early for the both of us. 15. Probably sooner if we dug deep enough.

I’m still creating.

I am proud of my ability to both settle down and move on.

But what if…

Relationships are different for me, I know how he feels.
“We’re moving soon, be ready.”
My shoes stay by the door, purse too. I always know where my keys are. My things are contained, don’t spread out, bring nothing you can’t leave behind. Accept there might be losses, realize they are just things. Breathe and wait for it.

It’s okay if you can’t love me back, I’m used to that. Not sure I would know what to do if you did. Love harder maybe, or try.

We are just two people who don’t know what home is.
No one showed us.
The sit-coms lied, movies too.

We have a solid foundation of epic sex, understanding. It might be enough.

I could pretend.

And I’ll use you as a focal point, so I don’t lose sight of what I want. Amber Run

He asked me to stay, he always asks. I make him, I need to know I am wanted there, in his house he built and bought. It’s his. So am I.

And I stay.

Why? Because the dent in his hand-me-down bed, in his sparsely decorated concrete box of a condo, reminds me of a nest. I feel safe there, warm. I never have to reach too far to know he’s there. I haven’t always liked sleeping next to past partners, but with him…if there was a tandem sleeping Olympic event we would win gold. Perfect form and synchronicity. Doesn’t matter what happened during the day, there I can rest, protected.

Feels like what I imagined home might be.






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