As I think about it now, it is only a good thing that not everyone in this world understands what homes really are. Because, mercifully, not everyone in this world is homeless or an offspring of violence. (Of course, often, these two are the same.)
I always knew that being homeless was never exactly a death sentence. People lost people inside homes; people found one another alive on pavements. It was on the shattered glasses of ruin I built these ideas of ‘a home’. They were radical, but they were also dilapidated. To escape their brokenness, I thought if I ran away from it for long enough, I would forget how to stop at all. I would have never needed walls or fences or to put locks on anything. But, soon, I learnt, there is more to life than just evading death. And I realised, as I still do, people tire — often, faster than they think.
For me, you have always been a reminder of this different kind of life: a life where I have a home I can always return to, a home stocked with infinite love. A home where I will never have to knock on the door or take my shoes off. Where I will never need to sit and explain, with my eyes glued to the carpet. Where I can leak secrets like a showerhead or have a stitched mouth and still be heard. A place my feet will remember every corner of in the dark of the night, and my fingertips will find the switches in the same spots. A home where I am seen, a home where I can hide.
In these last few months, I have known what damage unsaid words can cause. Time is a thrifty spender, and we are its currency. So, here I am, writing to you what we otherwise only express with tears. Because, without you, I am a kite, flailing in the endless sky without a string. Without you, I am homeless.
(Penned this for my brother on his birthday.)