Odd Family

My home is not in a house. It is in a family of lost souls. It is in light, warm, colorful light like a welcome mat, you are here, you are home. It is in people who understand, people who try to understand, people who share ideas and hugs and love.

There is so much love here, motherly calls, take care of yourself, be safe, you can’t drive like that, you can’t survive like that, I don’t understand but I’m trying to, I’m trying to take care of you, this place is not perfect. Maybe I am rambling, but I don’t think I can fully describe this place, this electric family, some people here have real families too and some do not.

We were not together as children but it feels like we were, we do not hide from each other. Scratch that- we do. We hide like sullen teenagers but eventually, everything has to spill out. So I guess what I am saying is that we cannot hide from each other forever. You can mainly hide from your friends forever, but not your family.

We love each other unconditionally. We do not have signs saying ‘Bless This House’ but we have arrays of expletives and rainbow flags stating that we are welcome here, that this is a place to belong, that this is a place to take off masks, that this is a place that despises masks yet will forgive you for wearing them, because people here try to understand.

We have grown up, at least most of us have. Age is not relative to our roles. Generally, the ‘parent figure’ of this group is twenty years old. Zhe protects people far older than zer because zhe has more love than there is heat in the sun, and when zhe needs protecting, someone else can step in. Our family roles are not fixed like normal families, they are fluid, a different person becomes the sullen teenager every week.

There are outbursts and fights and tears, there are weeks and months and years, there are comforting cuddles. Some people here jokingly call this a ‘cult’. I call this place home. Just because there are colored lights instead of kitchens doesn’t take away the fact that this is where I feel comfortable and loved. And isn’t that what home is meant to be, anyway?

When he died here, we all grieved like hell. He took the role of the little kid, kind of. He was not innocent like a kid, but he was alive, and he was giggly, and he happened to enjoy children’s TV shows, something he admitted on his third night here, over the tune of Y.M.C.A. He died. I don’t even want to say how. After that, life was a blur for a long time. He kept us together. But after a while, I guess we decided to catch the remains of his energy in our hands and dance, and dance, and dance, and dance, and we grieved for him like you grieve for family, and nobody understood that but us.

We are family, and nobody can tell me otherwise, because I know better than anyone what a family is. We have that sense of inseparable togetherness like families should. And this broken-down building of sweet, powerful, fast-paced songs is my home. Because it’s where I belong.

It’s where I belong, where I come back to if I’m struggling.

A home is something only the people in the home understand.

That’s for damn sure.