Coming home is as good, if not better, than all those romantic tales would have you believe. Tonight, by the time my luggage slumbered over the slats of the carousel and I finally put the key in the lock, it was 4:00 am. But I am too delighted to go to bed quite yet.
Understand, there are no open arms waiting for me at the airport. I stomp through the arrivals corridor with the familiarity and confidence of mud. My home has no partners, no pets, not even a plant thirsty from neglect. But every time, I go running about the house and hugging all the walls I can get my arms around. Flick all the lights on and check all the taps. Compliment the house for still standing and thank it for still being here for me.
So this is the scene – sitting at the kitchen table in the wee and small hours of the night and typing away like everything is balloons.
Very simply, I don’t want to forget how good it feels to come home once tomorrow’s errands have sunk in. (And they do sink, like shoes in slow tar. Some last desperate pops of breath and come the life police to ground you.)
On a night like this, a literal homecoming, I don’t want to have anything to do with the ground. I want to live in the dark joy of the private night, with the image of tomorrow as sunshine, marching bands, and confetti.
This is where I belong – alone in the night, safe in the hold of home, day dreaming a beautiful universe.
On a night like this, I love you. And tomorrow I will begin to worry and then I will write a song for you because by that time I will have forgotten all other forms of communication. I will think of all the things that make us afraid and all the things that loneliness eats. Turns of doubt and corners of jealousy, where we become unreasonable, and unfair.
In a way, happy belated Valentine’s Day. Life is hard and the road is dog eared from all the things that have gone before. But tomorrow could be confetti – shredded and messy, but bright.
Whatever it means to you, let’s always be coming home.