Friday, December 26, 2008


My old friend Lily called me at midnight Christmas Eve.
She was crying.
I haven’t written about this girl in a long time, this girl I chased for almost 7 years.
I had to give her up a while back, but we won’t go into that.
I knew that if she ever called me again, it would be during another of her disasters, real or imagined.

She had lost her job, her electricity was turned off until a friend gave her money, she had no food. She talked about what a torture life had been for her.
And because of something my pal Kissyface had written, I thought I could relate.
“Yeah, Lily, I can’t remember the last time I was somewhere that really felt like home.”

Home. What a concept. Whats your idea of home?
Me, I’ve been adrift so long that it almost seems like a place unrecognizable.
I’ve lived the same place for three years now.
Is it home? Not really, not even close. Its just a place, usually messy, and a home strikes me as being much more than a place, messy or not.
Home. What a concept.

Imagine all the songs, all the films about home.
Coming home, leaving home, being home.
"Homeward bound, I wish I was"
"Can't find my way home"
'Lemme' go home, Whiskey"
"Hick'ry wind, is calllin' me home"
"Just click your heels three times Dorothy"
"A heart needs a home"

Anyway, when I said all this to Lily, she seemed surprised. Lily, who has moved at least 6 times in 2 years, for reasons unknown.
She says
"Oh no, everywhere I have stayed has been home. When I got this Apartment, I just loved it, it has a great porch. And my other apartment, it had a huge bathroom. When I lived at Maureens, it seemed like home until Maureen got there. And my other apartment was like a home too, until my son moved in and mother got me evicted”

Through the tears andf sobbing she explained to me that even the times she had had to sleep in her car with her belongings in storage that her car had been her home, while she thumbed through her well worn copy of The Secret.

Home. What a concept.
We talked for an hour, she and I, and I suspect with the Ice broken again, she will call soon, or I will follow up. Maybe I should do a few posts to try to figure this one out some more.
One of us, Lily or me, must have it all wrong.
Maybe we both do.


Barbara said...

I can imagine you would have a sympathetic ear in most times of crisis. Sometimes all it takes is a good listener to help get over a bump in life's road.

Lily said...

I have no recollection of that conversation. I must be worse than I thought!

bulletholes said...

Barb, Lily been going over the same bump as long as I known her.

Lily, are you tryin' to mess with me? I think your'e messin with me.

goatman said...

My brother has "friends" like that: On Christmas day (yesterday) she shows up in a truck he sold her and she didn't pay for so that we could take his plates off it. She comes up drunk with a kid from who knows whom and proceeds to apologize for ripping off our entire family years ago.
Why do they not ever learn we are there to help but they must put forth something on their own?

Happy new of the year. Did you get a new mailbox for Christmas?

bulletholes said...

Hey know what I'm talking about...
My mailbox? Its going to take more than just a maibox, bro!

GrizzBabe said...

Poor Lily. I hope things turn around for her.

Annie said...

Home? I felt a sense of coming home the first time I stepped onto my place 8 1/2 years ago. Like I had been there before, and the place was welcoming me back with open arms that enveloped me in a comforting hug. Odd, yes? I've never felt that way about a place before, so jumped in headfirst. If anything, the place has grown on me ever since.

Anonymous said...

Love the title: Exodus to nowhere. Home, for me, is at my Mama & Daddy's house.

Love the blog world, where you just don't know how good you have "it" until it's gone.

Makes you think a lot. Love ya Steve, Munch-kin ( ugh went to the doc, weigh more than ever,=- must be the MUNCH-kin- ha!!)

laughingattheslut said...

I have a lot of dreams where home is this old place with a really big window. Outside the window it is very green, and I suspect very cold and wet. And then I wake up, I wonder how I could think that this place was home? I like green well enough, but in real life I do not like big windows, as I worry about people looking in, and I don't like cold, and I certainly don't like cold and wet. So this place in my dream isn't a place that I would want in real life, except for all the plants outside.

The first place I lived with my husband was home, but it was a terrible mess and it had rats and there were holes in the roof in the back room. And I never had anyone over, cause I was embarrassed by the whole thing. Also we seemed to collect a lot of junk. But we often had a garden and I loved the garden, and for a while I had a dog and a cat and everything.

We moved to an apartment, and I missed the garden, but I tried to get rid of most of the junk before we moved. And I really felt safe in the apartment. I hadn't wanted to move, but it very quickly became home. I loved it. My husband hated it because it was small. We spent a lot of money to move into a duplex, because it was bigger, to make him happy. And he wasn't happy, he did all kinds of shit, and he didn't do much to help me fix up the place. The place looks worse now than when we first moved in, we've gotten more junk, and I don't feel as safe here as I did in the apartment. But we do have a washer and dryer here, which we did not have before. I probably won't move, because I'd lose all that money it took to move in, and there would be moving costs and such to move back to an apartment. And I would have to get rid of a lot of stuff, and I don't even know where I would put the dryer.

Still, it is somehow home. There's all of this stuff going on, but what I tend to think most of the time is that I'm tired and just want to go home. And this is home, with the really big bed and the TV and all of my books that I can't even see well enough to read anymore. And I somehow just can't stand the thought of finding some other place, and I really can't stand the thought of him living here without me.

Maybe someday I will have the energy to fix up the place and make the big garden and everything like I wanted. Or maybe someday there will be someone else to help out with all of that. Or maybe I will just get used to it being the way it is. It certainly will never be as bad as the first house.

banquet manager said...

Hope Santa was good to you...
And you too Lily.

kissyface said...

Hi Steve-O!

What did I say this time? The only clue here is the Hickory Wind reference. Is that it?

Home, yes, well that's sometimes a tough one to find. I had a little meltdown just a few days ago because I was feeling so very out of place amongst my peers, much as I love them. I felt like a complete outsider, but that's a recurring position I've felt most of my life. This time it had to do with the general inebriation everyone was preferring in celebration of Christmas, and while I'm not opposed to occasional uses of libation to lift the spirits, it hardly seems like the best use of this particular holiday. Of course, that's a loaded scenario for me, so who am I to say?

But home is where you make it, with yourself, I suppose. If you're lucky enough to be able to share it with other occupants who "fit," well that's the ideal, isn't it? It's the great goal of my life, I tell you. Let's hope I achieve it someday. With chilluns.

Anyway, I'm quite sure Barbara's right about you. I'd put money on GB, too.

Kellyann Brown said...

"I'll be home for Christmas" has been playing throughout the season. I think I am more of a Lily.. even hotel rooms have felt like home after a long day of tromping though Paris. The tent at the end of the walk. My office at the end of the week.

Home is lit by heart. Houses are lit by light.

My mom creates home with plants and candles and is surrounded by the things she has collected in her life. For me, home is where I will be able to open the door and invite you in for a cup of coffee, or close the door and rest my weary head.

Hope your season is full of warmth and light and heart,

leslie said...

Home is inside my skin.
Since Christmas cookies, I've been adding on to the house...

Mother of Invention said...

Home is Where the Cat is!!! I have a wall plack that says that! But I guess I'd have to add Dave to that!

Happiest of New Years, Steve. It was so neat actually meeting you this year in Dallas airport, if only briefly!