The WordPress Daily Prompt for August 19 asks, “You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice—anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?”
“Home, is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place
I can’t tell one from the other
I find you or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, where I’ll be”
—”This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),” Talking Heads
Give me a country or pop song about home or going home and my immediate reaction is often, “That’s right. That’s what I need.” I am a sucker for cliche. I am not someone who makes wherever I am at the moment into home. The myth of Home will always outweigh the fact of Residence in my psyche.
Conversely, whenever I hear a “road” song like Geoff Mack’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” (best enunciated by Johnny Cash), it becomes a to-do list in my heart. I have not been everywhere, far far from it, but I ran when I could. Not far and not often, but let no one make your journeys anyone’s cliche. My travels are unique to my eyes and ears.
Wherever I have resided, I have carried a deep, living nostalgia for my previous life. Not when I moved from one apartment to another across town (I moved myself on foot across town once, not because I owned so little, but because this is how small the town I lived in is), but certainly when I moved across state or country. My nostalgia for the previous places in my life really only amounted to a present-tense desire for a current someplace else in my life. My friends in Iowa learned much about the Hudson Valley in New York; my friends here in New York, well, they took no interest in the Midwest. My Facebook is full of feeds and updates from different towns and newspapers I have visited and lived in.
So given the offer of a magical tunnel that may carry me from my front door to a location of my choice, I remember that there have not been many homes, but many addresses, and I have a long list of yets: Few photos of me in front of this or that famous place or thing. I have set foot in 22 states and three foreign countries. The countries are Canada (one drunken night in Montreal), Germany, and the USSR (cue the CIA investigation). The states are depicted below, but I am breaking a personal rule of including the states whose air I have not breathed because I did not leave the airport terminal (Minnesota, Missouri).
Visited 22 states (44%)
To me, the question asks where I would like to visit, hassle-free. But the hassle is often the only part of the story that survives the trip. And the return home, with one’s self slightly changed by the experience and one’s home not changed at all but displaying the pronounced evidence of one’s extended absence (dishes still where you admit to yourself you left them all this time), that moment of dreamy sleep-walking from room to room, that experience has always made wherever I was living at the time feel more like home.
For most of my life, I have needed a magical tunnel that would lead me to exactly where my feet were anyway. I desired that sweet sensation of waking from a long deep dreamy sleep every darn sleep-walking day I ever spent here, just to get me to get to work on time. There are many places I desire seeing, and there is a long list of yets on my bucket list or in my bucket, but Home is where I want to be.