Sometimes I get hungry for "home." Sometimes I get so starved for it that I make believe one exists and I head back to my East Bay home town to visit my family. In my absence my brain likes to create this fictitious place. A place of structure, free and unconditional love, mutual understanding, real "mom" and "dad" relationships that I truly forget never existed in my lifetime.
Weeks away always diminish the reality, which I have to admit isn't all bad or terrible and, considering the extreme conditions other people live in, maybe I shouldn't complain. Time makes me forget the horrible ways my mom and step-dad communicate, the mental hell my mom is experiencing and refusing help for, my brother's obvious need for positive encouragement and stability, their isolation from one another, their continued cohabitation in a house that is no longer a home if it ever was one. They've even given away the dining room table in the last few months.
Driving to my parent's house I pass my old high school (my parent's high school too) where my brother now goes. I pass by restaurants I used to frequent, stores I used to buy school clothes at, hills I used to sit on with friends watching the happenings of the suburb below. When I drive by these things I can't be anything but thankful to be out of this place, but I often feel guilty leaving my parent's house the way it is - empty, loveless, charged. I know there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, but sometimes I get so hungry, so ravenous, that I make believe there once was something palatable.