...Home isn't pretty
Ain't no home for me
Home in the darkness
home on the highway
Home isn't my way
Home I'll never be..."
Those are a few of the lyrics from the opening of the Blue Oyster Cult song "Burning for You" (a great old song -- here it is if you don't know it -- Burning for You)
I love older music. Some of the bands from the 70s and 80s seemed to be able to speak to deeper questions and emotions, things not quite as shallow as Taylor Swift talking about her latest boyfriend. This particular song, Burning for You, was released in 1981, five years before I was born, yet I've always liked it. At this particular point in my life it seems an appropriate soundtrack for all that's going on.
A quick look at my profile will tell you I've not exactly been a homebody. When I was a child, home life was non-existent. It was a place I got fed, sometimes, and slept when there wasn't screaming or yelling or a party going on. My fond memories are from being with my grandmother and my aunt, but I left home at 16 and have spent most of my life on the road since.
Eventually I ended up in Florida for six years, but never in the same place. I worked three years in a carnival and three more with a small traveling circus, then left and made my way to North Carolina. For the past two years I've lived in a neat little town that's just like those small towns you see on television -- everyone seems to know everyone (they're all related or went to school together) -- and we have little town festivals and events that draws all the same people out every year.
And the people here have been wonderful to me. I've made a couple of dear friends, and there are others I genuinely like and admire. I landed a job as a receptionist and clerk in a small insurance office and found the absolute perfect place to live -- it's a small house, just the right size for me, out in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a dirt road. I'm surrounded by forest and the only sounds I hear when I'm outside are those of the birds and frogs and the occasional animal noise that I have no clue about. I could work in the flower garden naked and no one would know the difference. The owner of the home even let me sign a lease-purchase agreement and he offered to finance the home for me.
When the initial lease expired last October, I couldn't do it. I couldn't sign the papers and buy the house. I don't know why -- the landlord was willing to use part of the rent as a down payment, I had everything I needed lined up, but I just couldn't go through with it. So, we agreed to another year, but he told me if I back out again, he would put the house on the open market. He's an older guy with a lot of property and he said he's tired of dealing with it, so he's been selling it off over the past few years.
Which brings me to the here-and-now. A little more than two weeks ago I lost my job. Not because of anything I did wrong, or even because of a struggling economy. No, my old boss is a snake, plain and simple.
See, he and a woman insurance agent who works in the office were having an affair. I discovered it a couple of months ago and I've been sick about it. I know his wife -- I see her and their little boy occasionally -- and I cannot begin to explain how that ate at me. I actually became physically ill a couple of times, even felt depressed (which is something I deal with enough as it is).
Turns out half the town already knew and I got all worked up over not letting it slip for nothing. Now, he and the woman have decided to move out on their respective spouses and leave town, which meant closing the office and ending my job.
I'm not complaining or asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't have it nearly as bad as their families do. Plus, I tend to live on a lot less than I make, so I've saved some money. I do have to get a job, I can't do this indefinitely, but I'm okay for now.
Which brings me back to home.
Or my lack of a home.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. I know people are the same everyone, I'm not so naive as to believe I'm going to find somewhere that this kind of thing doesn't happen, but I just can't view this place the same any longer. So many of my friends, it turns out, knew about this and just let it go. "That's just life" some said, or "None of my business."
Besides, after being here for a couple of years, the luster of a new place has begun to wane. Maybe I'm just destined to wander, to settle for a short time, then pull up stakes and move on.
I have a lot in flux right now, but two things I'm beginning to realize. First, I just don't know that I'll ever find a place that will become home. And second, I think I've allowed myself to be too caught up in the world around me and not focused enough on my writing.
This past year has been a revelation to me regarding my writing, with the publication of LETHAL OBSESSION, in ways that I wasn't really prepared for. But I've grown long-winded here, so I'll delve into that, explain where I'm going with my writing and how all of this has given me a new focus later this week. Check back on Wednesday, maybe Thursday.
As always, thanks for stopping by.