I’ve been feeling pretty homeless.
There is always somewhere for me to sleep. I have blankets encased with my scent and dripping with ink from the pens I fall asleep gripping. I have a mailing address. I have rent to pay. I have my dad’s dogs and my mom’s cat. I’ve got three driveways I can always pull into. My name is printed on a gas bill. My desk is making my mom a great coffee table, and my dad’s dining room buffet is serving me well as a desk. I have a rug on a floor that she tells her party guests is mine, and some clothes I’ve never worn on the floor of a room he calls mine. I have a key to two buildings. I have three sets of walls I made into canvases and then abandoned. I have a canopy underneath a bed I don’t sleep in. Pictures in a frame at the bottom of a box. Candles on a counter next to a lighter that isn’t mine. They call a piece of their own lives and homes mine. I keep my pieces; the people I’ve taken and the things I’ve given. I haven’t called any house mine in a long time though.
I have a car. I do in the sense that I have insurance and a title in the glove box at least. I have my ipod plugged into auxiliary and my presets programmed into the fading green 1-6 on the radio I didn’t buy. I have my “802” and my “Where there is a witch there is a way” bumperstickers on its backside. My makeup fills the console. My bank receipts litter the ashtray. I got the leopard print steering wheel cover and I bought three cotton candy car fresheners. I make a payment every month, and that SUV becomes a little bit more mine every time. I paid to get that leak fixed by myself. I pay for the gas. But, I only paid for half the brand new brakes. There are four keys in circulation, and I only have one of them. Its title isn’t in my name. I don’t own a damn bumper or headlights yet. That beautiful black piece of metal is the most personal commodity I know, and I can’t yet claim.
He can’t be my home anymore either. Perfection like that can’t last long enough to become familiar. It’s too bad that I can’t imagine his face in the backseat where we sat together enough times to bring him back there. I can’t ignore everyone in my phone for long enough to pretend he’s calling to call me all those names I love to be called. Driving by his house won’t bring him down that fire escape to my passenger’s side door the way it used to. Saying “hey” isn’t an invitation to argue philosophy and theorize lust like it used to imply. Pictures of us aren’t screensavers and profile pictures now in this state of vagabondage, they’re just in frames at the bottom of a box somewhere foreign to me. Somehow we’ve become too distanced to find our way back to each other- and I wonder if he has felt as lost as I have. Listening to his Bob Dylan, and learning Springsteen lyrics won’t do any good from where we are now. No, keeping up on my poetry and my guitar enthusiasm won’t bring him home or put those pictures back up on our walls.
My heart has nowhere to cover up and close its eyes anymore. I don’t get your goodnights. I don’t need them to be safe, I don’t need them to fall asleep; it just doesn’t feel like home without them. I miss reading that you love me. I miss hearing you were going to bed wherever you may have been sleeping. I miss taking you for granted. I hate how it feels to fall asleep anywhere, knowing you haven’t left a metaphoric porch light on for me somewhere. Keeps me tired heart up, driving in the dangers that come from the dark looking for some place that doesn’t exist as it once did. I can’t settle down without your goodnights. I’m not at home if you’re not waiting for me. If youre not leaving the light on, if youre not loving me, then I don’t know where I belong.
There is a car in the driveway of a house where I sleep at night. There isn’t a front porch light like you left on, but someone else’s candle sits lit on the counter when I come in. It isn’t the house where you loved me. It isn’t the home where I fell for him. I don’t have my desk, I don’t have my rug. I don’t have the title to that car and I don’t have the only key. I’m leaving the doors unlocked, in case someone wants to break in to get me. I am walking in the dark to a bed that doesn’t feel right. I am kicking a box of pictures and frames across the floor as I do so. I’ll try to sleep, but my heart is a little restless and I’m not very comfortable here. I am feeling pretty homeless.