I don’t know what subconscious confidence lodges itself inside you, when you observe your mother comb the hair of your father with her fingers. I don’t know what that feels like. I don’t know what it feels like to watch your father gently hold your mother’s arm. I don’t know how one feels upon seeing them laugh together. I have no idea.
I don’t know what it feels like to hear your mother greet all your siblings for having made it to the family home at the same time, at last. For the past fifteen years, watching your father proudly cut a pineapple on the same old kitchen table. I don’t know what it feels like to see a photograph of yourself on the wall of a house and think nothing of it. I don’t know running into an old cushion and greeting it with memory. I don’t know the feeling of unequivocally belonging. Being innate to a house, not necessitating a reason, an uncontested presence. To not feel disassociated, to feel a member, natural, crucial, important. I have no idea. This to me, is unfamiliar.
However, I know of car journeys between houses. I know changing of elementary schools, middle schools and high schools one too many times. I know of moving from one parent’s family house to the other. Once, twice, thrice over. I know of finding out they have moved house while you were living with the other. So now, you must live in a new house all together. Start over. Once, twice, thrice over. I know never assuming ownership. I know never feeling fully in the comfort of belonging to anywhere or anything. I know the need to work extra hard and be extra good to deserve your loving. I know getting fed up. I know rebelling. I know leaving. I am good at leaving.
I was always good at leaving.
What I don’t know may be redeemed by new experience. It is what I do know that is hard to undo. The urge to beg for a panacea, competing with the urge to say “fuck you!” Not pressing your feet hard against soil to push forward, not grabbing with ease, just grabbing. Hesitation, doubt, second guessing. Taking comfort in distance and aching for a possibility to return to a place in-existing. Remember, there is no belonging.
Hauling all the learned behaviour of working extra hard and being extra good for your loving.
Yearning to unlearn, unknowing what to do when encountered with belonging.