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POV: Home.

POV ("point of view") is a new series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.
When I was little, I believed that homes - like my collection of stuffed animals with frayed ears and missing eyes - had hearts.  When we moved from Los Angeles to Honolulu, I was seven, and I apologized to my bed, to the figures on my patterned wallpaper, to the patch of sunlight on the tomato-red carpet, for leaving them behind. 

Months passed. Sitting in my third grade classroom with plumeria trees and yellow hibiscus in the window, I listed details I missed about the house in a journal entry. “I’ll live there again one day,” I wrote.
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In two weeks, I’ll move out of my apartment in Williamsburg, my tenth home in twenty-seven years.  

I’ll miss its tin ceilings; its turn-of-the-century moldings; its comically enormous bathroom; its treacherous, rust-colored stairs. I’ll miss waking up to the sound of the restaurant across the street raising its gates in the morning; the bartender next door smoking cigarettes outside my window during lulls in his shift.

I spent what was both the best and the worst year of my life in this apartment, a year that I’ve referenced often on this blog. 

“I grew up in this place,” I said to a friend a few days ago. “I changed a lot here.” In a way, I explained, I owe it the same debt of gratitude that I owe my family and friends, for being there through it. 

“Maybe your new form needs a new space,” she said simply.

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On Saturday, I found myself on the roof of the building across the street, looking down at my apartment below. “That one,” I said to my neighbor, who I’d just met, and above whose home I was now standing. “That one’s mine.”

From up there, I noticed, my building’s white trim looked dingy; the rust-colored stairs, lop-sided. It appeared clumsy somehow, old. 

I loved it anyway, for being there.

I leaned forward, squinting, trying to see through my bedroom window. A bird, whose crowing I'd become accustomed to hearing as the sun rose, was settling itself above the pane. I watched it. I’ll live here again one day, I thought.

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You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, hereThank you so much, as always, for reading! 
 

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