House on Pepper Tree Street

Over quarantine, my family got a puppy, though she’s slowly growing out of that word.  Rosie, who is a yellow lab but not yellow and sleeps on the floor instead of her bed and will jump on you and lick you till you’re soaking if you sit next to her on the floor.  It took us a while to get to that name, as we each came up with our own lists of names.  I loved the name Luna, but that was too close to Lucy, my sister’s name. My dad wanted Chewie, and will still insist we should have named her Biscuit.  Most of his names were pretty ridiculous, though, and got a resounding No from the rest of us.  My sister wanted Mango or Maple, and says her middle name is Mango even if we never use it.  In the end it was my mom who came up with Rosie, and it’s grown on all of us.  The first time we went to meet her, she fell asleep right in my arms, and though she’s a pain sometimes and sheds everywhere and drops her toys on our feet and will circle endlessly around us when we come home, it’s moments like those that make it worth it.  Even if she’s a little too big to fit in my arms anymore.

My best friend and I, we have a unique relationship.  I’m pretty sure most of the theater kids think we’re dating, but we’re not.  We’re definitely really close, though.  Most of our conversations sound pretty crazy to other people, I’m sure, but they make a weird sort of sense to us.  She’s the one who knows me best, and we do practically everything we can together, even though none of our classes are together.  I don’t think anyone will ever know or understand everything about me, but she’s by far the closest.  We love a lot of the same shows and books, and while we may not be the same or agree on everything, we fit.  Also I hug her a lot.  That might be why people think we’re dating.  

A couple years ago, my Grammy died.  She’d been in and out of the hospital for a long time before that, and I hated the hospital even though I loved her.  My sister cried.  I didn’t.  I made myself not cry.  I’m honestly not sure why.  Maybe I’m bad for it.  Maybe it just felt like she had been gone for a while anyways.  I had a dream about her, woke up crying.  Grammy, who let us watch Peter Pan over and over and always fell asleep while we watched stuff and took us to McDonalds and gave us sugary cereal and pancakes and syrup for breakfast and let us practically destroy her plants and had so much fun with us.  I think that was when it really hit me that she was gone.  I miss her a lot, and I wish that my memories of her didn’t fade.  But time keeps moving, taking my memories with it.  

She used to be one of my people.  I looked forward to it every week, the time I would get to see my friend.  Those dinners were always so fun.  Now they’re not.  I wish I could have that back.  I know it won’t happen.  We used to love all the same things.  Now we have practically nothing in common.  We would do everything together.  Now she’s always glued to her phone, her other friends.  I used to know she loved me.  Now it feels like she doesn’t care.  I have known her since she was born.  Do I really know her anymore?  We were so close then.  Can I even call her my friend anymore? 

Home is complicated for me.  My house is part of my home.  My family is part of my home.  My friends are part of my home.  So many things come together to create home for me.  I think that’s part of why Covid hit me so badly.  Most people would call me an introvert.  I think that’s true to some degree.  I don’t need lots of people, and being with people can be draining.  But I’m an ambivert, mostly because I need my people.  My family, my closest friends, they’re my home.  It’s so hard to be without them.  Sure, I could spend hours alone, reading or drawing, and that’s part of my home too.  But if that was all I did, if I never got to see my people, my home would be incomplete.  I’d be missing something, and Covid has shown me just how much that piece of home affects my life.  I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t found these people that make up so much of me.

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