Charlie and I had a conversation once involving the concept of a “home”. He identified it as a location with which one felt most closely affiliated, or which one felt most connected to one's identity. (I may be getting this wrong, as the conversation was probably more than a year ago at this point.) I was confused; this didn't seem to match up with anything in my experience, and I told him so.
Recently I came to the realization that while this concept may be coherent, at this point I'm pretty sure I don't have a home. I've moved four times in the last 9 months; the Fairfax was just a place through which I was passing, Ratha and I didn't live at 5440 Claybourne long enough for me to ever really feel like the place was mine, 806 Heberton was obviously just a stopgap, and as far as my current place, while I haven't entirely given up hope that it will start to feel like it's “mine”, it certainly hasn't happened yet.
I think there are a number of factors that might be relevant here:
- Ownership of the property is important. I don't like being a tenant; I really don't think anything is going to change that. Given that I don't own any real property at the moment and don't have the means to do so, I feel more at home now where the person who does own the property is someone with whom I have a personal and not only a business relationship.
- None of these places have been even potentially permanent. Regardless of my life arrangements and plans, it was clear that I was just passing through.
- I haven't lived with a family. I wanted to think of me and Ratha that way, but I guess our relationship was always pretty lopsided and never really sustainable. I want a cat. I've been wanting a cat ever since I moved to Pittsburgh. My new place doesn't allow pets, and even if it did, I'm not sure that would be the best environment for a cat. I'm thinking of making that a requirement for the next time I move, but maybe that's unrealistic, if I'm still going to be renting. But the people in my current place—well, they're friends, but I don't expect to live with them in any kind of a sustainable way. One day I expect to go my own way from them, and while that's okay, it means that I still don't have a home.
It's disheartening, because I think I would really like having a home, but it doesn't seem like there's anything I can do about it right now.
There was another entry I was planning to write, about how each time I met Ratha (i.e. encountered her after being away from her a while) it was like a fresh start, but things never lasted. However, that seems to be disproved now. Probably for the best that I didn't actually write that entry, it wasn't very rigorous or insightful anyway.