I woke up this morning aching all over.
I don’t mean physically aching, but a pain that I could feel in my bones, my very innermost being. I felt like I had all of the air knocked out of my lungs, and I was just too startled to inhale again.
It was a breathlessness that permeated my consciousness. All I could do after opening my eyes to the rays of sunlight filtering over my mattress was exhale in a surprised huff.
Hours before my heart was light. I was pursuing my dream, finally. Yes, money is an issue, or rather, my lack thereof. Classes were stressful, work was long, but I was on my way. The road had been laid out before me, and damnit I was going to forge ahead.
Then I woke up. All lightheartedness was weighted down by a black hole in my chest.
The wind whipping around the house, creating a haunting whistle that is both comforting and the loneliest sound in the world.
My sanctuary, my room, with its bookshelves filled to overflowing with my precious books, collected, found, rescued over the years.
The trail of coffee shops scattered throughout the city, with their familiar faces, smells and sounds.
That stretch of highway I drove every day my senior year of high school. The mile marker where I got my first ticket.
The drive-in movie theater that I haunted every summer, sneaking in friends under blankets in the back of the car.
My dad’s ridiculous laugh, shaking the rafters of the house, making the dogs hide under the piano.
The cat glaring at everything that moved from her perch on the stairs.
My mom embarrassing my sister in public, getting her flustered.
I knew I missed home, but I underestimated just how much.