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Four Walls

I remember the first time I ever went away from home on my own. A friends house for the weekend. Somewhere about an hour, maybe two, from our home in Brooklyn. I was only worried about the evenings, as I was a chronic bed-wetter as a child.  Despite one accident, made easier by an understanding friend who had just overcome it himself, I had a great time. I learned to ice skate, he had a cute older sister and his mom made us hot cocoa, it seemed liked every 2 hours. The thing that eased my mind was knowing "home" was so close.  Throughout my life and I'm sure, most of yours, trips are always fun, but one of the best parts is being back in your own bed, your own kitchen and with the familiar surroundings that comfort you. I don't have that anymore.

People used to laugh when I'd describe my old apartment. It was tiny and awful, but it was my safe haven until it was ruined. It was my shelter, with a bed, a fridge and a bathroom. Within those four walls I realized that life isn't about what we collect it's about what we can do without. Towards the end of my stay there, I lived without the things most people call essentials. I didn't have a good light to read from, nor did I have cable. I didn't have an oven that worked and my room was cluttered with crap, but it was crap I needed (to some extent).

Now I'm away and while I still have four walls, which is more than many, I am not comforted by them. It might feel this way, because they aren't truly mine or it may be for other reasons. I think the reason I don't have that comfort is because I don't have places to go. I don't have days that are spent away, looking forward to those four walls. I don't have friends calling (texting) to come over or to meet out for drinks. I don't work to bitch and moan about, although my old job made me happy, so who knows. I don't understand the feeling of wanting those four walls anymore and it didn't start in Ithaca. It was taken from me. It made me realize that we're really simply creatures.

I sat tonight, alone in the kitchen, sipping hot coffee at midnight and I thought about the silliness of materialism. Coffee, bagels and hummus. An occasional steak. A tomato and onion. A movie. My phone. A roof and four walls. It's all I need to survive, but being able to leave and want to return, is really what I am missing.


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