Lately, I've been thinking about "home" quite a bit. I used to call Boston my home; it was where I grew up. First, in Dorchester with Marky-Mark Wahlberg, and later, on the comedy-scene at Nick's with Dane Cook. In between. I ran into a few people you might know--Matt Damon and Ben Affleck--not to name-names...or, that they'd remember mine. ;)
I loved Boston, and still do. But soon--very soon--I will have lived in other places longer than I ever lived there. Is Boston, then, still my "home"?
I'm a die-hard member of Red Sox Nation...it's so bad, I can't even watch my team on television--I get too upset. And though a baseball fan in general, and one of those crazy people racking up major league ballpark visits (I'm up to 12 in the last six years), I can never watch a live Red Sox game outside of Fenway...because, well, I tend to get into verbal altercations with the other fans.
Of course, though not as crazy about other sports as I am about baseball, I will never relent that the best football team are the Pats, the best hockey team--the Bruins, and the best basketball team--the Celtics.
I drive like a Bostonian--even after all this time. Rotaries? Bring it! Driving in the break-down lane? No problem. Rush-hour traffic? I'll go back to my old CHS cheer for that one: "Be aggressive, B-E-aggressive...."
My Boston attitude is still very much in tact, too. We act as though we're the greatest thing walking on the outside; on the inside, we'd give everything we have to a perfect stranger. Strong handshakes, laughter from the gut and a general joie de vivre--even if with an edge--are all part of the Bostonian-persona...and mine.
Summer isn't summer without the cold Atlantic of Cape Cod, where there's something extra special about the light, and where you can swim with seals off the cliffs of Chatham in July, and with whales around P-town in August.
And the accent? Well, I do sometimes relapse when I'm angry but I coached myself early on to speak accentless--not because I was ashamed of dropping my R's--but because I somehow knew that I wouldn't live my life there.
Some of my best childhood memories are taking the T into "town" with my grandmother and stopping at "the Woolworth" for an ice cream soda before walking over to the Commons to watch the swan boats and feed the ducks.
My entire family is buried in Boston--everyone who ever made it to the States, whether from the Emerald-shores of Eire or the sun-dappled coastline of Ukraine. And yet, I'm not quite sure my roots are planted there.
I've fallen in love with so many wonderful cities in my lifetime: San Francisco and Sydney are two of my favorites. But "home" is still a mystery.
Not the concept, but the place. Is home my children? My partner? My friends? Or is it a geographic location--a pin-point on some obscure map?
When it comes down to it, while my house is a home, mine still rests beyond the confines and impermanence of humanity. It's not a place I've ever even experienced. There's no tell-tale signs that connect me there--not an accent, or a love of a particular sports team, or even the way I drive. And in a time when everything from grocery shopping to cellphones track our every move, our every like and dislike, even pin-pointing our exact location...it's good to know that there is still some mystery left.