The hum of the ventilation fan kicks my muscle memory into overdrive.  Turning the knob until my wrist faces directly up, I watch the water spill out and contemplate all the lackluster showers I’ve taken in the last year and a half.  I step in and immediately jump out, dodging water that seems hotter than Hades.  Scalded and confused, I bathe and exit with flushed skin that I no longer seem to enjoy.

Usually, I find solace in bed after a long day.  Cotton sheets, which I no longer use, now seem more like a restraint.  My back sinks into the pillow top and aches for a firmer surface.  As I lay awake in the only home I’ve ever known, my mind wanders to a sad thought.  When does home stop being home?

I grew up in this single story, middle class masterpiece.  Before this, I was in the womb.  I had never been on my own or even dreamt that I might flourish somewhere else.  The funny thing is, I didn’t realize how well I was doing until I came back.  I didn’t realize how much I had changed.  I like cold showers, firm beds, and honest friends now.  People don’t walk all over me anymore, and I’m beginning to learn to walk on my own.  If I feel strong, loved, and there’s a Whole Foods down the street, I’m at home.


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