Chapter 37 - "the end: go west young man"
As I walked in the front door, I could smell the aroma of fresh paint. Being that I struggled with huffing gas in my childhood, I’ve always had a proclivity towards things with toxic and intoxicating odors. Things like markers, rubber cement, burning foam and fuel. I’ve lost innumerable brain cells over the years because of this addictive affinity.
The girls were in bed, but Heidi wasn’t. She descended the stairs like a princess and I hugged her like we hadn’t seen each other in months. It’s amazing what even five days away from her does to me. She’s bewitched me body and soul, stealing Jane Austin’s line from Pride and Prejudice. Even the natural fragrance of her body was something that my senses were cathartically renewed to appreciate. Everything was startlingly new. The house even seemed freshly different.
After talking for a couple minutes, she told me that she had something to show me. I was picturing a long trail of rose petals leading toward our bedroom—not so much. But it did have something to do with the “loveshack” as it so happened. She had repainted our bedroom in my absence and it looked awesome.
I was so happy to be home. There is something awesome about being “away”, but it only is meaningful if it’s compared to being “home”. When your life is nothing but a feeling of “awayness”, you live with a perpetual sense of drifting, a gadabout restlessly and aimlessly lost. Home is the place where you hang your heart. It’s the place were “everybody” knows your name (your story). It’s the place where you don’t have to explain yourself or prove yourself or cover yourself. There is a freedom associated with home that is ineffable.
And as I laid my head down on my own pillow in my own bed at my own house, I rested with a restfulness that I had only few times in my life experienced. It was deep and rich and full. My mind raced with where I had been the last 6 days and how much I had taken in. There was no doubt in my mind; it had in some small, yet profound, way changed me.
My heart will always be pulled west. Go west young man. I know what this means now. Every young man must go west in his life, else his heart dies a slow death. You can be told that, but you have to go there to really know it deep down in your bowels.
And I know that now. I really, truly know that.