15 states: California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts,
Over 20 quarts of oil,
I am home – home home. I drive to my parents’ house of forty-five years and return to my birthplace of Wellesley, Massachusetts. I thought this journey back to my youth would be more jarring. I pass elementary school landmarks and shed years. I’m still navigating the psychological divide between my childhood and my adult life.
This is not the return of the failed prodigal son. My parents accept that I have quit work. They may even be thrilled to have me home for a longer, leisurely spring span.
My father helps unpack the car. I worry over his looks at dinosaur outfits, antlers, and a stack of cones. I will build a platonic solid in the basement to explain my projects to my parents.
We are an odd bunch of four in this quiet ranch home: father (81), mother (76), older brother (45), and returning son (41). It is likely hard for children to watch their parents grow older. My parents move more slowly but still have lively wit. We share stories and gossip over absent brothers. They don’t ask much about my life.