Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What Home Means to Me

It's a cold night in Albuquerque.

The lights aren't the greatest in this room and someone was a little heavy-handed with the disinfectant, but at least the connection is good.

The NDT Mascot is looking for a soft spot on the industrial-green rug, wandering around with the dazed look of someone who thought he was just taking a ride to the park, not a ten-hour two-state trek crammed into the back seat of a Mazda.

Finally, he just gives up and hoists himself onto the saggy king, searching in vain for the extra pillows he normally has to use, then tipping over with his head on paws and letting out an aggrieved sigh.

He's said it that way countless times before, back from our days on the rodeo circuit, our itinerant-consultant times, our "if it's Tuesday, it must be Texarkana" weeks; "Dad, what the hell are we doing here?"

He knows better than to expect an answer.

He didn't get one when we first headed south, my life stuffed first into a U-Haul and then into a 300-square-foot horse barn apartment, searching for what I thought would be my future.

He didn't get one when bare months later, we traded rural solitude for urban rush, twenty acres for twenty square feet of grass in Oak Lawn, my attempt to come to grips with what I had finally admitted to myself that I really was.

He didn't get one when I chased a dream of a white picket fence and Honda Accord with someone who I wasn't smart enough to realize couldn't and wouldn't do that out to the north 'burbs, or when I thought I could get stability with three bedrooms, one living area, tile floors, and a hot tub. And he certainly hasn't had one in the past few months in someone else's house, Dad packing and disappearing with alarming regularity, coming back with a lot of luggage tags reading "SFO".

In all these times, he's seen wonderful things -- the laughing and joking with good friends, the thrill of biscuits with a big sale or bonus celebration, even the intimate moments on the sofa, the floor, or in bed in which two hearts touch and join as one, his dad and his dad's latest lost in pleasure both physical and psychic. But never have these things been there to stay; they dwindle and shrink, finally vanishing, ghosts in the rearview mirror.

I look at him, my friend, my steadfast companion, his trusting eyes staring back at me. There's so much waiting ahead for him to discover, I think -- the thrill of every nook and cranny in a new residence, the nearby park with canid friends-to-be aplenty, a new avian "stepsister" and "stepbrother", a happy dad coming home with GOOD stories about his job.....and, most of all, TWO parents, both head-over-heels in love and committed to building a life together. Solidity and substance, passion and power, acceptance and love, home life and career, location and history -- his dad's dreams have come true, and in a way not only unexpected, but far beyond what his dad ever dared to imagine.

How can I tell him how wonderful it is? How can I explain what I'm feeling? How can I put into words something that is so incredible, so magnificent, that I STILL pinch myself that it's happening?

But it all comes out in one phrase:

"We're going HOME, pup."

Note: This essay was written as a submission for the Homomojo Gay Blogger Writing Contest. If you enjoyed it, please follow the link and review the other submissions, then vote for your favorites.

And while you're there, check out the Homomojo main site!

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