I will never again come home on Sugar Bottom Road and see my mother’s muddy boots on the outside stoop, covered with equal amounts dog hair and mowed grass. I will never walk onto the blue shag carpet and find my scrawny little brother sitting on the floor in his pajamas, his energy, his kinetic force, dark hair disheveled as he builds an entire city out of Legos. My father, so very young, the fire in his eyes, proudly dropping the top on his convertible and driving along highway 1, harmonizing with John Denver and appreciating the smell of baled hay.
Things have splintered since then, and we’ve all scattered in different directions and built very different lives. But I can make it all come back so vividly, so clearly. I know the way the night sky opened up to me, endless, stretched out on a trampoline - the feeling that I was both trapped and unrestrained in a fly-over state.
If I had the choice to move back there, I don’t think I’d want to. I like it so much better here. But I feel anyway that I’ve lost something enormous.
This totally freaks me out - which is probably why I like it.