I felt like being domestic today, so I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies. Double the cocoa and double the fun (double the calories, but please don’t rain my parade). As I was placing the little chocolate mounds on a cookie sheet, my Grandma said to me, “You know it feels so nice to come home after being gone for a while.” “A while” to my Grandmother consists of one night spent in Sacramento at my aunt’s house. “I know, right?” I replied. As I was putting away the aluminum foil that I used to cover the cookie sheet, I snickered out loud at the audaciousness of my statement. This isn’t my home, I thought to myself. How dare I think this is my home! I wanted to scold myself for being so foolish. I put the double-guilty cookies in the oven and went to my room to ponder the questions spinning around in my mind.
For now, my home is the room that I am living in. I have a queen-sized bed with lots of plush pillows and a goose-down comforter. I have a nightstand that is decorated prettily with deities from Buddhism to Catholicism. There are vanilla-scented and lavender-infused candles that I light everyday. There is a mini square teacup with a hand-painted bamboo leaf on each side. Directly across from my bed is my bookshelf where all my beloved books make their own home. I have DVDs and Christmas cards and a pink drumstick from the House of Blues in Anaheim and photographs and my press pass and a rosary and an “inspirational” calendar from my best friend and a poster of yellow daisy’s sitting inside of an over sized yellow smiley-faced coffee cup … and how is this not my home? I am everywhere in this little room! Because my name is not on the lease, I used to think that I was essentially homeless. A nomad, a wanderer. Oh the drama. I guess technically I don’t have a home of my own, but it seems silly to even talk about it.
What is even sillier is that I’m complaining about this when tonight the thousands of actual homeless people will have to sleep on wet cement under wet blankets that they may or may not have. It rained today for the first time this month. We have a heater in the house and we all have plenty of blankets and warm socks to lull us into our slumber. So many people do not. When I want to get all self-righteous and bratty about “deserving” a home of my own, I will remember that I have all of the basic human needs: Warmth: check; shelter: check; food: check; water: check. On Inside The Actor’s Studio yesterday, Tom Hanks was discussing his role in Cast Away. He said that he believed that the fifth basic human necessity was companionship. And I agree.
My Grandma is at the kitchen table playing solitaire. My Grandfather is napping with his dog on his lap. I just got a text message from one of my friends who lives 3,000 miles away from me who just wanted to know how my day was going. I am typing on a laptop that was a gift from my mom. And my dog follows me around everywhere and anywhere, just because he loves me. I don’t have my own home just yet, but I do have so much.
It’s taking me a while, but I’m getting there. I don’t call a loft in the city with views of the skyline home just yet, but DAMMIT, I WILL. I took the doubly amazing goodness out of the oven a little bit ago and offered my Grandpa one. He said, “Aw, man! I don’t like these. They have too much chocolate. Now there’s more for you! Hah hah,” and then ate two.
I just received confirmation, folks: home is where you are allowed to eat as many cookies as you want.