i hadn’t been home in what seems like three days even though i woke up at my place and went to bed at my place but sometimes i don’t sleep for a few days and the days without sleep become one long day so it may have been three days since i’d been home, i can’t be certain. i looked for the bleu cheese that was in the refrigerator last time i looked but in-between now and then the bleu cheese had been eaten (by me or someone else) because good cheese gets gobbled up quickly in this joint. someone had put my shoes in the closet (maybe it was me) but not put away the clean laundry and i noticed dust collecting in the candles i don’t burn during the summer. the place was quiet because i was alone and my breathing was silent and the better cat ran away last week and the other cat was sleeping and doesn’t like to be petted, she only half-opened her eyes when i unlocked and walked through the front door.
everything around me looks familiar but doesn’t feel like home. the kitchen floor has been mopped, the carpets have been vacuumed, the books on the bookshelves have been read, and the blanket on the couch from my long-dead grandma is wadded up on the farthest cushion, but this place doesn’t feel like mine. this place has too much stuff on its walls, too many chairs at the table, too many bills stacked on the counter. if i had a home it would have walls of windows and three bar stools at the counter and the bills would be paid already. my place would have a view of the ocean because sleep comes easily when i can hear the ocean. home is where nightmares can’t reach me and fluffy cloud flying dreams follow me and birds wait til 8am before they start chirping. the home i want exists only in my imagination so i don’t bother looking for it elsewhere. i close my eyes in a bedroom with blackout curtains, put in ear plugs that make the blood pumping between my ears sound like an ocean, and forget about the stack of bills. tomorrow i’ll buy more bleu cheese and put away clean laundry and sort the stack of bills into smaller stacks that i’ll pay, ignore, or cancel. this place might not be home but i sleep here, i eat cheese here, and i know where to find what i’m looking for.