I’ve been away for awhile, but now I’m back and surrounded by the familiarity from my younger days. There is the same coffee table, now scratched with age. Up against the wall near the stairs is the stereo console with the built-in turntable, except the needle is broken. The brown couch I am sunk in is threadbare and faded. Yes, it’s all familiar and so is the reminder that I don’t belong here.
Even though I grew up in this house, I never considered it home. The once brightly painted walls are dingy, the plush carpet, worn down almost to the bare floor. Mom wasn’t big on decorating. She concentrated more on preparing for her place in heaven. Beth, Eric and I were expected to do the same. Imagine being required to focus on a place of dubious existence during a time when we were celebrating a won war; a time when the pulsating, unique beat of rock and roll began to pour through the wood work and into our hungry souls; a time when black and white televisions took up prominent space in the living rooms of our Long Island neighbors. A new world was opening up, one with a variety of mind-expanding ideas, ideas my mother believed were inspired by the devil himself.
–by Carol Hoenig