My house smells of coffee in the mornings now. It never did growing up. In one of the small sacrifices I can see now, my dad didn’t drink it because my mom didn’t like the smell. He would buy a coffee or get some at the office instead, never complaining. She eventually bought him a k-cup when the conversation came up of how much money he was spending on coffees, though she insisted on taking it when they separated a few years ago. It sits in a cupboard in the apartment he pays for, just like the elliptical she demanded to keep, which is buried beneath boxes and knickknacks in her study. It wasn’t the hill he wanted to die on though, so he obliged, not the last of his many sacrifices.
It took me a long time to warm up to coffee and I am still not a habitual drinker, though there is a pot made every morning and it’s aroma fills the whole house. It reminds me of my grandparents house, my mom’s parents. Their house always smelled like coffee in the morning. I don’t understand where the disconnect is between them and her, but there is one.
It isn’t just about the coffee.
I have lived in this shared one bedroom apartment with my craigslist roommate for close to three years. I have stared out at the dirt and mildew stained walls outside my window thousand of times thinking about my life and existence and the future. I keep feeling like I will be sad when I leave on Saturday, but I suddenly realized that this place has never really been my home.
In my transient young adulthood, this is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place, but the yellow tiled bathroom and beige walls don’t belong to me. No matter what efforts I put in to making this place mine, the calendar on the wall, or chalk boards with my to-do lists, it never really felt quite right. It was always a shared place, not fully my own. I think about all the memories I’ve made here, all the ways that I’ve really come into my own and become a person I am happy to be, and built relationships here and a life, but that isn’t about the place itself.
Sure, I will miss the memories, and maybe a little bit of the freedom I had in this ~300sq ft room, but this place was never really my home. Now I have the chance to make a real one for myself, if I am ready to give up the idea of myself as a transient youth and move forward into a real life with someone. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I’m ready to say goodbye to this non home and move forward into a real house with plants and dogs and friends and a man who loves me.
So goodbye, mildew stained paneled wall. I don’t think I’ll miss you.
The trees are always alive here
Everything is green, always
Not like home
With its brown all year round
Brown and fires and cold mountains
Where a little smiling face sits
Not knowing who I am
I dream of those cold mountains
And that smiling face
Lingering lingering lingering
My mind is just lingering between the two places
Stay or go
Stationary, I stay
But maybe I’m already gone
Away from the blue sea and green grounds
Back to the brown
The memories of people who no longer exist
The memory of a me who no longer exists
I don’t think I can find her
I don’t think I want to
So I’ll stay
And dream in black and white
So I can’t tell which is which