Look for a place to live. We can’t stay here anymore, they’re raising our rent. Our lease is up.

Pack up your bags. Buy more boxes, seal them with tape.

Don’t unpack too much. Don’t get too comfortable. Meet your neighbors then forget about them. Use tape and hang up the pictures of you and your friends. Make sure not to create too many holes in the wall – this isn’t your house. You can paint the walls but don’t fall in love with them, you’ll be leaving soon enough. Pack. Unpack. Worry about making rent. Keep worrying and never stop because around here we don’t get a break. We don’t rest easy. How can we? Our home is always moving; our world always shifting and stuck in an endless game of something like tether ball – where we wrap around a place all tight and cozy then suddenly we find ourselves jolted and quickly unwinding with no choice but to let go of what we once knew only to coil around this new place in hopes that this time the game might be over.

Do you know what it feels like to look though the rentals in your city and find that there is nowhere for you to go? To discover that the prices are all going up but you keep making the same? Do you know what it feels like for the world to tell you: You have no place here. Go elsewhere.

Where? Tell me where and I will go to the place where I can finally set these boxes down and hang up my coat. When I find that place I will throw away all of my boxes. I will buy frames and nails and hang up those photos of my friends. I will meet my neighbors and shout, “Say hello to Julie for me,” as I wave from my porch to their yard. I will paint my walls and not worry about scuffing them – they’re mine after all.

And I won’t worry, not at all, because I will have one place. A single space where my head can rest.

Advertisements