“Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever gonna make it home again.”
We received our first noise complaint last night.
The email from our landlord told us that our late night music and singing hadn’t been appreciated by our upstairs neighbors. I expected to feel shamed or embarrassed but instead a laugh rippled through my chest and I couldn’t wipe the mirth from my eyes.
You see, we delved a bit too deep into a bottle of rum and when old demons came bubbling to the surface instead of cowering we faced them head on. Sobs tore themselves from my chest for the better part of two hours, and when 5 am reared it’s head I sang along to Carole King instead of sleeping.
“It’s so far and out of sight.”
The record wobbled and her voice trembled and it cut through every lie I’ve ever told, any time I’ve assured someone I’m fine when I’m not, anytime I’ve hidden in the bathroom and emerged pretending I wasn’t just crying, anytime someone’s done something hurtful and I’ve told them it’s alright.
I sat on the floor, pouring myself shots from a bottle of triple-sec because it was all we had left, listening as Asia read excerpts from her old journal, trying to ignore the waves of emotions that were inhaling and exhaling me in a chaotic maelstrom of heartache.
“I really need someone to talk to, and nobody else knows how to comfort me tonight.”
This was all brought on by the discovery of an old notebook, full of love letters
and lyrics to songs that once meant the world to me, interrupted every once in awhile by Biology notes and French verb conjugations. A list of reasons why I loved him, an apology note to the first heart I broke, snippets and quotes from messages sent from lovers that ultimately destroyed me.
The words “I love him” scribbled so many times on the page that it had turned into a nearly incomprehensible blur of jagged letters that spoke of underlying pain. The unwritten truth woven into the chaos- “but he doesn’t love me”
“Snow is cold, rain is wet, chills my soul right to the marrow”
Back when I was sixteen these words had been everything to me, this was a documentation of all my pain, my happiness, my triumphs and failures. There was a note that seemed almost as though it had been meticulously documented in report-like style about the first time I ever trailed my fingers down his spine. There was stories of parties and late nights that I had written about in frenzied excitement. Entries dedicated to sloppy, messy kisses.
For years all of this had felt so small in the slopes of my memory banks. A brief flicker of an image that never lingered too long.
“I won’t be happy till I see you alone again.”
And just like that, every emotion came crashing back. Like a tsunami of teenage angst. I was trapped underneath the wreckage of my past. I guess I wasn’t entirely over any of it. My aunt left me a series of letters before she passed, and one of them told me that you never know how much time you need before you move on from something, but that it’s crucial that you take all the time you need- whether it be days, months or years. In my desperation to forget every battle that ended in blood-shed I hadn’t given myself a mourning period. And now, that mourning period had come to find me.
When I emerged from the onslaught of remembering, there was my best friend. And Asia understood, she hugged me tightly and didn’t look at me with pity. And when I thought of the people who played lead roles in my journal I felt nothing but fondness and a hope that they’re doing okay. There was no more resentment, no more bitter.
“Till I’m home again and feeling right.”
Through bleary, red rimmed eyes and with my bottom lip still worried between my teeth, I observed my surroundings. Thrifted furniture that many have called ugly but I see as beautiful. Tapestries and sarongs pinned to the walls, all of their colours clashing together in the most glorious of ways. Juni curled up on the pillow I had thrown carelessly on the ground hours earlier, his paws tucked underneath his chin. Asia sitting among a sea of empty glasses and bottles. I turned my sights to the record player, and I put on Carole King. This is my home, I realized, as I clutched my last glass of booze and morning light trickled in through the windows, birds chirping in the distance.
I’ve gone through a lot of shit in the last seven years. But I’d go through it all over again to be where I am now. And nothing is perfect, but somehow it’s glorious. There are rough days where even making coffee feels like the most difficult of tasks. But there’s always this space, my roommate, and a big white cat, pawing at my leg for attention. I’d say I’m doing okay.
“Snow is cold, rain is wet
Chills my soul right to the marrow
I won’t be happy till I see you alone again
Till I’m home again and feeling right
Till I’m home again and feeling right
I want to be home again and feeling right”
until next time,