Suddenly, “Home” Became “House”

I come home smelling the fragrance of a freshly cooked viand, prepared by whoever’s cooking that night.

That moment is from a memory I remembered while I eat a stale dinner. I position myself at the back of the dinner table, back of the chair dully scratching the paint off the wall. The paint’s half-way peeled off by now. I face the white tile tops of the kitchen counter while I chewed on a dish that could’ve been better if it didn’t have too much oil. That’s an excuse. It could not have tasted better.

The TV’s open while I ate and I can only stare at it while I plan on how to end another exhausting day at school. Schoolwork’s being dumped on heaps and I need to detoxify before I start anything. I leave the table and the house help cleans it up. The PC’s on by now. The table should be clean by now.

My mom asks me about school. What happened, why’d I come home this late or this early, when’s the next exam, why aren’t there any results from your last exam, who did you hang around with. There’s ten minutes of that while I take off my clothes and rest before taking a shower to wake up my senses. The bathroom door’s ajar while my little brother took his bath and I wait by the dining table. I take a shower to wash the fatigue, grime, sweat and tears from the day. I’m tired so I sit on the tiled floor.

It’s funny how I came up with this post from sitting on the bathroom floor naked and soapy.

I’m a home child. I like the concept of home. I like the security and familiarity that composes the thought of home. I like the concept of a happy and intact family in their home. Home, to me, is a haven from everything the outside. Home is that special extra pillow at night. Home is that ice cream flavor you turn to when you’re heartbroken and empty. Home is that throw pillow you cover your eyes with when you’re watching horror flicks. Home is where my fortitude was established, cultivated and grown. Home is everything until it becomes a house.

I am not a house child. I don’t like being surrounded by cold and unfeeling walls. I don’t like the look of paint peeling away from old houses. I don’t like the thumping sound of wood under hard heels or the soft sound of footfalls from cushioned soles. I don’t like the clutter from the goings on in the house. House is more of a prison than anything. House is like being in school without anyone to talk or share your lunch with. A house doesn’t become anything else than a hollow block of concrete monstrosity unless it houses your heart.

I’ve considered the house I’ve been living in for the last 16 years as my home. Five years ago, that concept was subjected to test and little by little, I’m starting to question if I’m still living in a home. I’m starting to question if I’m part of a family or a household. I’m starting to question if this is where I really live or if just a bedspacer who gets free meals and free internet access.

I’m scared shitless of thinking like this but there are times when I lie on my mattress and my last thoughts before succumbing to slumber are about the home I used to live in and the house I live in.

For all the tough and happy front I put up day in and day out, I’m still a child. I can’t say I didn’t have a decent childhood because I did and I loved every moment of it. I can’t say I lived a sorrowful existence because I didn’t, I’m quite happy with my life. I can’t say I’ve been fucked up because I haven’t and it would be unfair to people who have it worse than me. All I’m saying is that somewhere behind all the layers of skin and cells, there is a child who’s trying to come back home.

Ayaw ko nang magpanggap (I don’t want to pretend anymore), a recent favorite phrase of mine from my humanities class. I don’t know where I’m going anymore. My map’s been torn from the rain and sun of my journey. My compass has been crushed under my weight when I slept under the sooty sky. I’m looking for the beacon of light that used to be my home. I want to come back home.

But I don’t have the keys anymore.

I sit in front of the PC, the cursor mocking me while I try to convert my thoughts to bytes. I smell a faint scent of the night’s meal, cold against my senses. The peeling painted walls, the termite-infested cabinet, and the dimming lights. My body bending under stress, my soul held to a ball and chain and my mind eaten away night after night by random musings. Slowly, barely, deftly, the erosion of my notion of security is creeping at the back of my head.

Slowly, barely, deftly, home is becoming dead to me.


About kyogakura
Bored 95% of the time.

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