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Sunday, 7 August 2016

What Makes A Home?

What Makes A Home

Alexander Gordon Jahans

I used to know what a home was. Home was where you felt safe, where you trusted yourself to be okay. Home was where my computer was. Home was what I knew and where I felt at my best.

But when I moved in with the ex that wasn't home. My computers were there but it wasn't home. Admittedly this feeling was not helped by the knowledge that my then partner could ask me to move at a moments notice because he had a hair up his arse about something that required the workspace.

Then I returned to the family house. To Woking.

Woking has never felt like home. Woking has been a prison I've spent my life trying to escape and practically everywhere else where I have been welcome has felt more like home. College, University, Gallifrey One, Nine Worlds Geek Fest, even bloody public transport. It all felt more like home. Indeed I tried to run away from Woking twice only to stop when I was threatened with a criminal record.

The thing about where I live is that from where my bedroom window points I can look out at a crossroads that leads out to the centre of town and to Guildford. That is a magnificent inspiring vision to have, particularly considering that Surrey has glorious countryside. Except my window is braced with cross pieces, like bars on a prison cell. I can look out but only through the reminder that I am trapped.

My brain sees fit to remind me now that my ex would not be bothered by such things as like the Krikkit men he fails to see or acknowledge that which falls outside what he knows. To him the outside is a world of pollen and spiders and people. The last of which might deserve a trailer scare chord. I am not quite over him clearly but back to point.

 I crave independence and challenge. My parents could easily remove the need for me to go to the shops to get my food myself since they both drive and have to go out anyway but I like the lifeline to the real world. That once a week I must trudge up the hill for food. And I have always been this way. I would walk and cycle to school. I'd walk or take the bus to the trainstation so I could get the college and when I did my volunteering I would get the bus in myself.

This house used to be a prison and it is a mad stale thing. Dodgy internet, a half dead garden and everywhere a thin layer of grime and dust. I really must get Gormengast some day as I think that as what this has always been for me as Lungbarrow, that other fetid stagnant mad house, was inspired by it.

When I thought of returning home, I compared it to Lungbarrow but this isn't Lungbarrow, this is no buried leviathan. This is a castle connected to several beating city arteries. The house may be stale but I'm not when I am here. I have a life. I go out and... do stuff. Not exciting stuff admittedly. I'm not holidaying on the Algarve or climbing mountains but I am going out. I have spent time exploring Woking and I know it, I know Woking better than I know the back of my own hand. At some point this specific house may be sold but the knowledge of this town won't be.

I am home. Right here, in my own personal Lungbarrow.  The sun shines through my great window and I look out upon the crossroads of this unappreciated little town and I feel good, This is where I belong and this is where I feel safe. not because my computers here but because I could be homeless here and know how to survive, because I could lead an army of revolutionaries through here or survive a zombie pandemic here.

Woking is my home now. For all its crapness and its brambles and the bloody gentrification by cunting tories. This is my home.

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