Home Sweet Home.


I’m in the suburbs, in the basement I used to spend so much of my time when I lived there, when my phone tells me that my text messages are full. I accept the option to clean them up and as they’re being deleted, I realize the last conversation I had with my dad – The last few texts we’d exchanged the day he died – are amongst those being erased. I wait, with the precision of patience, for the fleeting feeling of being submerged underwater – The usual precursor to my panic attacks – but it doesn’t come. And I realize that no matter how long I hung on to those text messages, or the bracelet my dad bought me that had broken earlier in the day, that it doesn’t matter. He’s gone. And holding on to those mementos will not bring him back.

Later that same night, I am standing in the kitchen, bare legs, cigarette in hand, wrapped in the same coat that I’ve come to identify with this week of death so, and I remember the constant disappointment I was to my dad, the conversations that we had about how I could never support myself as a music journalist, that I should throw in the towel because I’d never be a self sufficient adult the way I was living. Sure, that big magazine job had come through once but it had gone under three months after I packed up my life and moved for “the sake of the job” and economically, reasonably, a person can’t live as a writer these days, they just can’t. Some people are lucky enough to have their march into adulthood punctuated with a wedding, a birth – My transition from “post college layabout” to “fully functioning adult” was instead marked by my move to Ann Arbor, only three months ago. And that move, to my dad, signified that I was okay. I remember this and I go outside and light a cigarette from the last pack I’ll ever own, and I realize: My dad died and he was proud of me when he did.

It’s this realization that calms my taciturn nervous system, always so close to the edge of sanity these days, and lets me know: Everything will be alright.

I come home and everything’s in disarray – My living room is still strewn with bottles and lighters from Bri’s twentieth birthday. It seems so long ago but it was the day before my dad died… And I’d never bothered to clean up before I left that night for Gray and Melissa’s to be delivered the fateful news that everything was about to change. I put down my bags and I walk into the bathroom to find my toilet’s broken and my bedroom is still a pit of laundry, just as I left it. It’s cold and it’s lonesome but it’s mine, this place, it’s mine, and coming back, even though I’ve only been here moments, restores all the order to my life that I needed. Everything’s okay. And right now, that’s all I need.

The worst is over.


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