Mar 22, 2022 • 4M

Why Do Some Things Fit and Others Never Do?

Glendale, California

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Appears in this episode

Emily Clibourn
Homecoming is a newsletter of short essays and poems, exploring the meaning of home through a journey across America. Homecoming is a cry for a world in the midst of a meaning crisis. In a time when identity is being fought for by advertisers and campaigners; when we’ve traded in family and place-based community and the tech that’s supposed to connect us only makes us more disconnected; when God has been discarded and what’s put in place simply cannot hold, it can be hard to know what's real and true. What does it really mean to be home? And what does it take to find it? These essays may not read in chronological order. Some names, dates & places have been changed from the otherwise non-fictional stories.
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The sky is the most beautiful, soft periwinkle. It’s made more beautiful by the green leaves of the mango and walnut trees, and every ounce of me wants vegetables. My toes scream at me for vegetables and, now that I think of it, I haven't had greens in a while.

My body always tells me what it needs and it never lies.

My body always tells me what it needs and it never lies.

I bought a baby blue jumper today. I didn't really want it but couldn't say no to the sales lady. I expect it will end up one of those garments that hang in my closet for years and I always glance over it and say, "I have nothing to wear". It's so bright and happy, and I think of ways I can change it so it feels more like me. But how do I turn baby blue to taupe or add sleeves?

Why do some things fit and others never do?

It's like this apartment. I've been trying to make it fit, but it's feeling like a shoe two sizes too small. I'm shoving my foot in, but it's getting blistered and bruised. I've moved to 410 E. Harvard Street in Glendale, California, and for the first time in this city, I am mostly alone. Well, aside from my neighbor, Joe Ellen Truby, who is from Chicago. She has wild, grey hair and watches baseball games and smokes weed on the porch at sunset. And then on the other side is Greg, who pinches and kisses my cheeks and calls me his angel. Every morning he walks with his little, white dog past my window. He looks in until he sees me then quickly looks away again. And there's the big mango tree and the almond tree and the squirrels who do backflips from their branches.

I've unpacked the cardboard boxes and bought a dresser and a cabinet. I've hung the paintings and hung the clothes on hangers and bought a fig plant I've named Daisy, and I've hung the sparkly bulbs but still I feel like a ghost, walking up and down the halls, creaking the floors, hoping to be set free. I tell myself: this is home. this is home. It has to be.

Why do some things fit and others never do?

Perhaps it's the cars driving loudly up and down the alley next to my room, echoing and roaring like angry beasts at three in the morning. Or perhaps it's the fact that I don't have another body - some body to watch TV with or eat with or argue with or laugh with. The sun rises and the sun sets and there is no body but my body. Not even a dog's body.

So I call my grandma and my sister and my mama to figure out what to do, but each voice just makes the chorus of voices louder and when the voices outside get so loud, it's hard to hear the voice inside, because her voice is the quietest of them all.

My body always tells me what it needs, like how it's telling me to leave. I try to convince my body that I know better, but my body always tells the truth and it never lies. Like the baby blue jumper, why do some things fit and others never do?