Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sweet Home, Chicago....or....Kenosha...

After a month of traveling, house-sitting in "the hood", and just plain seeing bits of America, I have returned "home". I put that in quotations because I've discovered that 'home' is such a relative term. It's something we use to label the places where we reside, isn't it? I mean, even when I lived in the wonderful "Shagbark Apartments", I still called it home. However, now I'm not so sure that I have a home to speak of. Therefore, the quotation marks appear.

The months of me living in my parents house are coming to an end, and not nearly as quickly as I'd like. My sister threw a complete freak-out when she was 29 and we shared a one bedroom apartment. The fear of 30 caused her to NOT want to become a 30 year old who shared a bedroom, with twin beds, with her baby sister. So, before her 30th birthday we moved in to a 2 bedroom apt. and she tossed out her twin bed and purchased a queen.

Here I am, months from 30, living in my old bedroom at home. No Mom. No space to even unpack. Half of my life is in one cousin's basement. Half in another cousin's basement. I don't know what I have. I don't know what I own. I don't know where anything is, and my room is a freaking mound of mess that I cannot even begin to deal with because there is nowhere to put it anyway. After over a decade of living outside my parents home, family forced me back (situationally, for a season)and now I'm knocking on the door of my 30s and sickly reminded, daily, that I have nothing to show for it.

When I was little, I was facinated by the smells of people and of their houses. You realize at a young age that different homes have different scents to them. Were you to smell that fragrance elsewhere, you'd immediately be reminded of so-and-so person's home. But for some reason, you're immune to the scent of your own home.

My best friend's house smelled like cat pee. My other best friend's house smelled of a certain sweetness, later recognized as pot, and cigarrettes. I remember talking about the smell of homes. I always wondered what mine smelled like. At the time, the cat-pee-house friend told me that my house always smelled good. It smelled like a combination of cigarette smoke and popcorn. For years that bothered me, even after my Mom quit smoking and my Dad had to smoke outside. I've always been conscious of the way I smell, and the way my home smells, to people.

When I lived with Laura (my sister) in the apartments, we always were told that our house smelled amazing. Everyone that came over commented on how warm and welcoming our apt. was. Lived in and comfortable. And it smelled of baking scents...cinnimon, cookies etc. I loved that. I loved that our friend Annie wished our apartment smell could be contained and sold as an air freshener.

As I started my wash the other night, I had an epiphone. The cold and warm waters crashed over my clothes. I poured detergent over them and I hesitated. I could smell my parents house. My Mom and her touch are gone. It smells like an old man's house. Not mothballs or anything, just old man. Dirty. Musty. Stale smoke from his endless smoking on the porch. The windows are open, the Summer heat warms the house and draws out the old scents that have for years bed masked by my Mother's touch. It's not home for me, I can tell it in my nose...

In closing, don't worry - you'll get your update on my crazy month of July. I know you're all dying to hear about it! ;)

2 comments:

BeeKay said...

You still need to come up to visit me, maybe make my condo smell like cookies....

Legdahli said...

ooooo - I can do that!
Seriously, I have discontinued wallflowers from Bath and Body Works that smell AWESOME!