I don’t live here.

I was a weird kid. I came by it quite naturally, I have a whole weird family. We sang patriotic songs together in the car, we took turns forming the letters of the alphabet with our bodies instead of watching TV, and we created an imaginary call center selling Ghostbusters equipment to made-up customers. (We didn’t bust ghosts. We just sold proton packs over the play phone.)

Once, I had a pet plastic egg. His name was Eggbert, and I’d found him during the egg hunt that Easter. He wasn’t the thin, crappy, see-through plastic kind with the little tab connecting the two halves that rips apart within seconds.No, no. He was the good kind. Solid, golden yellow, and smooth. So I stuffed him full of plastic grass, made him a bed out of a Kleenex box, and carried him everywhere. Before bedtime, I’d spin him on the table for exercise. We had a great time, Eggbert and I.

At some point, I realized that having a pet egg does not at all make you awesome. Shamefully, I tucked little Berty in his tissue-lined sanctuary and crammed him in a box so none of my friends (I swear I had them, and they were real, tangible human beings) would discover him. I cried, because I didn’t want to grow up. I just wanted to hang out with a fucking Easter egg.

Earlier today, I was thinking about how after 3 months, I still don’t really live in my apartment. I haven’t fully unpacked, or decorated. I don’t spend time here if I can find any reason not to. I love the place, but it’s not yet my home.

Home is where your heart is. For your heart to be in one place, you have to leave it behind from time to time. I can’t. I’m not willing to take the risk. What if I’ve chosen the wrong place, yet again, and it’s not safe here? Strong as it can be, the heart is still fragile at the core.

So instead, I pack up my little heart into a cozy space, lined with caution, protection and Kleenex, and cart it around with me. When nobody is watching, I let it ride out on my sleeve, wind whipping through it’s ventricles. Most of the time, though, it stays hidden. Not because I’m ashamed this time, I’m just a little more careful than before. My former ways of jumping from one hurtful moment to the next with nothing but hope and optimism has finally taken it’s toll. I don’t have resentment, I’m not bitter, I just need to heal. I’ve recuperated quite well so far, but there’s still a ways to go. When I get there, I won’t be celebrating by turning around and diving back in the deep end. I’ll stay there, throw some dorky pictures on the walls, and finally make my home.

The pain of losing Eggbert was enough. A girl can only take so much.

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