Friday, 11 June 2010


Sometimes you never leave where you grew up, even if you do.

Sometimes you wake up on the day you're heading back to your neighbourhood, and the first thing that comes to mind is a number.
And you realise that it's the number of the bus that takes you from the station to the street you grew up on. It just appears in your head, and you just know.

Just like you know when to press the button on the bus to get off. You see the park you played in, the library you went to religiously, the corner with the white wrought iron railing, and your finger pushes the button without needing the command from your brain.

Sometimes you don't know why this happens. You've been here before, you've visited many times over even as an adult, but this time you don't scan the street signs and concentrate on figuring out when you should tell the bus to let you off. You don't need to wait to get to the bus stop across your home tube station to remember the number of the bus route that takes you there.

Sometimes you turn your head to the left knowing you'll see the office building your father spent his days in while you were growing up. You see the office in your mind, smell the corporate carpet, see the ivory letter opener with the crocodile handle on his desk. You see the Cuppa Noodle machine in the entrance, and remember how you thought it would be the yummiest snack to have while waiting for your father to finish. And you remember the disappointment when it tasted like card.

You'll stand under your street sign, and you'll look up at it like it was what you were looking for all along. Like it's normal to do that, to cross the street, and instead of walking towards your neighbour's house to see them after so long, you stand under that street sign. And you look up at it. Like it's something everyone does. And you look at it from every angle, like you're looking at the face of a long lost friend, a sibling, a mirror after ages without a mirror.

Sometimes you'll look down the road where your house used to be, and you're not tempted to go see the doorstep you sat at on sunny days, the doorstep you bound over rushing to get to the ice cream man in time for gumballs and a 99 flake.

Sometimes you know these things, you're not tempted, and it's like any other day, because sometimes, just sometimes, you never leave where you grew up.
Even when you do.

1 comment:

cardejah said...

no place like home, habibte.
even though it isn't where your heart is, it's where your memories are which is ultimately a part of who you are which is home.