We come Home to Ourselves
Prose inspired by bell hooks
The floor of my apartment had become my favorite place to call safe. it is not like the carpet smelled fresh but it is familiarity was comforting to me. on my apartment floor, there was not any lower I could get. There was not any lower you could make me feel.
It felt like every day someone was trying to break me and even when I got home, I could not escape those expectations. My anxiety would continue to place a burden of perfection on me even when I unlocked my front door.
My anxiety constantly compared me to the people in the spaces I was in and those spaces were inherently white. It is hard to believe you can be your authentic self when that self doesn’t even feel safe in your own house. So I would lie on the floor hoping to escape the assumption of excellence.
When you come home to yourself but you do not know yourself, you feel like a stranger in your own house. The last time you knew who were was in the womb so you lie in the fetal position hoping to recreate that certainty. And when I say you I mean me, but it really feels like a you because I don’t know me. I am trying to find my identity in a space that constantly tears me apart in an effort to put me back together. So here I am, on the floor crying tears that I cannot figure out the meaning of. I ignore the school work piling up. Anxiety turns into depression and depression turns into weight on the bones.
The weight of trying to be you even though you’re nothing like me, yet you seem to have won the prize of acceptance. The smell of rejection smells a lot like the fragrance coming from the blanket I have wrapped myself in as I am on the floor.
The day really doesn’t end, but instead it just fades into the next. Every step I take is like I am a drunk trying to keep my balance after the Friday of trying to keep up with white boy wasted—that is because I am.
I came home to myself but myself doesn’t want to be home. It wanted to on the river floor instead of my own. I could become one with the earth as the current washed over me and my regret. My soul would roam free haunting the person who moved into the apartment after me.
They would come home to me and my spirit would greet them at the door. They would lie on the floor and smell the agony my spirit possesses and it’s weakness would ooze through the blanket.