‘Home’. It can be where you live, where you’re from or home may be a person.
Shit. I have 50 different ideas and not one of them is expanding into a story in my head. Should I write about India? Well, how can you do that Nicki? You’ve never been in your tiny 20 years of life. You swapped finding the thin, fraying ends of your roots for Iceland, Vietnam and Vegas. You travelled cities, had your drink devilishly spiked and have explosively argued with your sister in multiple countries instead of flying to the country your ancestors originated. Is it okay to mention exploding and flying in the same sentence? I’m brown so, like, are my group going to think I’m some sort of terrorist now? Great. Switch plots.
Maybe I could talk about Leicester instead. Blue blood, blue kits and blue Foxes run deep into the drains of the city since the Premier League. I’ve never been a football fanatic but, watching a game one time made me the smallest yet biggest LCFC fan in the stadium.
Wait, we were talking about Leicester - not football. Leicester is my home, I guess. Although I’ve never quite felt at home anywhere. Now, that’s sad. I’ve been a student at six different educational establishments (stop trying to sound smart, kid) in my lifetime. If I think visually, I can see the buildings pop up on a mental timeline of my life. It wouldn’t really fill an autobiography though so, don’t get excited.
Home is difficult to establish when you share a room with your sister, who is 25 and still obsessed with unicorns, bears and has coined the word ‘floor-drobe’. “Oh God, not you again,” she says whenever I stumble through the door after my three-hour journey home. She has also dubbed my bed a ‘clothes bed’ and keeps her excess items there. Sometimes I steal her jumpers when she’s not home.
They say "home is where you make it". I am home when I’m a human burrito in my duvet and the light of my life is the glare of my laptop screen. I get separation anxiety when we’re apart. I forgot who I was before I owned it. My whole being is stored away into neat little folders in a foldable electronic book thing with a screen and lots of tiny black buttons. So, does that mean this device is my home now? Am I a cyber human? I, Robot eat your heart out.
This whole generation is defined by their electronics though, aren’t they? They are our homes. Our homes are just houses. I’m not home if I don’t Instagram a perfectly angled, slightly edited and cleverly captioned picture of my face. I can’t go to sleep if people don’t ‘like’ my picture. If you like my picture, does that mean you like me in real life? Or do you just like the way I look? And then we wonder how this is an insecure generation. If I like a boy and he likes my picture, am I basically inviting him into my world and is he accepting, taking off his shoes and waiting for a tour? (The bathroom’s upstairs and immediately on your left.) But if another girl likes his picture, my home will fall a part. Then what?
My other idea for this short piece was to entirely flip the prompt on it’s head and do something imaginative by contorting the idea of ‘home’ or creating a mass metaphor on the page. Maybe home could be a person and maybe it was a few months ago. Is it healthy to have your lover as home? What happens when they’re three hours away and you’re left homeless, in a house in a city you barely know anymore, with people that keep telling you they’re your family? What do you do when your partner promised he would build a home with you but left you in the rubble to drown? What happens when you simply can’t move forward anymore because who you thought you were is stuck in the cement?
Lordy Lordy, Michael Jordy – that got depressing very quickly. Have you ever been depressed? Maybe you popped your pill-shaped home out of a little foil packet and swallowed it. Maybe your home now lives shredded in your system; a home inside a home. I went real estate shopping inside bottles once. Ciroc, Jack Daniels, Malibu. The views were great but I always felt sick. My bathroom ended up being my most visited room, I almost wore the tiles out.
Home is a complicated four letter word. Is it a place or a feeling? A person or a state of being? It also depends on the season. Home’s are homely at Christmas. Have you realised?
Oh, stop over complicating it Nikita. I know you’re a Creative Writing student but, relax and just describe your damn home.
I live at number 36 and I was born and raised in Leicester, sandwiched between Loughborough and Northampton. Like me, my house is semi-detached and tucked away into a corner. There are more cars parked outside than house inhabitants and the slabs from the roof are starting to slide down at free will. My bedroom has Sexy Pink carpet, as chosen by my big sister back in 2005, and light pink walls. I don’t even like pink that much. I stayed hidden, cocooned in my room, and I guess that’s my real home. All alone.