Home is Where the Hearth Is

Here’s a picture of the radiator in my apartment.

Sometimes when I was in therapy back in high school, I would stop talking and just stare at the floor. The doctor would wait a moment to see if I was coming back on my own before she asked “where’d you go?” I had a hard time explaining.

Daria was amazed once when she looked at me and noticed I was running through some hypothetical conversation in my head. “You’ve got a whole universe in there, don’t you?” It was a revelation to her about how my mind worked. She found it endearing, but I’m not sure what good she got out of it.

Last month I took her pictures off my wall and put them in my filing cabinet. Today I deleted the last two years of email. Ctrl-A select all, Ctrl-D delete, Ctrl-E expunge. If only the universe inside my head had keyboard shortcuts.

Where did I go? Hell, where am I now? How many times have I said to myself “I want to go home!” before realizing I’m at home, it’s just that I’m so completely alienated from the world around me that no place feels right. There’s no place like home. Nothing is homelike. Not even my inner world with its own little radiators painted institutional eggshell.