“You’re going home soon,” they say, or “I can’t wait until you’re home!”
What is this home they speak of? Home is where I’ve been for the last month. Home is where I sweat profusely, then take an ice cold shower. Home is where Pedro and I converse in our carefully-calculated mix of Spanish and English. Home serves rice with every meal.
When I’m at home, I get from Point A to Point B in the back of a motorcar, feeling the breeze in my hair and the grit of sand in my teeth. My feet turn an unnatural shade of brown at home. Home is where I take afternoon naps in the hammock.
At home, I speak another language. I sing, loudly, in front of people. I’m almost always touching or being touched- an arm around shoulders, a hand on a knee, head leaned together. Greetings and goodbyes without a hug and kiss are considered rude at home.
These descriptions of pristine paved roads, airconditioned houses, and department stores have become foreign to my brain. At home, we stay in if it rains. Our airconditioning consists of waking up at 4 am, just to feel that one cold moment. We buy our meat in the meat store, our toilet paper in the toilet paper store, and our fruit at the fruit store.
“You’ll be home soon!” they say, but they’re wrong. I am home.