Listen I know the "ass backwards farm town" trope is popular but
Jack Morrison was born in Bloomington, Indiana, which is literally one of the most progressive, artsy, queer towns in all of the Midwest, let alone Indiana, even back in 2007. So every time you talk about his family/friends/“small” town, in the approx year of 2050-ish being homophobic, small, or uncultured, you’re just falling into a trope that’s hilariously inaccurate.
Like keep doing you if you’re aware of that and just want to work in that trope, but do so with the awareness that it’s not at ALL accurate.
(Don’t worry Blizzard fucked up too- Bloomington is a large urbanized college town, I haven’t seen a farm for miles until you’re way out of city limits. )
I never understood the saying “home is not a place, it’s a feeling” until you made me laugh so hard that my chest hurt and I had trouble catching my breath. We were sprawled out on your couch, facing each other, smiling like idiots, mouths stretched so wide our cheeks ached with the strain. And we couldn’t get close enough. Couldn’t find out enough about each other, couldn’t stop talking, didn’t want to stop. I’d never felt more at home than right then, when your arms circled my waist and I pressed my head to your chest, your heartbeat echoing my own.
I stay in love with you because you make me feel like nobody else ever has. Even though you’re not mine, I just can’t seem to let go of that. Something in me won’t let me forget it. For some reason I feel I need to hold on to it, to you. Why? That I do not know. Something’s meant to be, I don’t know what, but something…
You may lose your best friend and feel lonely
You may lose the love of your life and feel lonely
You may never return to the city you call home and feel lost
But you will feel the most lonely when you lose yourself.
That’s when you’ve really lost someone worth fighting for.
That’s when you must accept all your mistakes and all your flaws
And that’s when you must forgive yourself.
Because the hardest person you will ever have to forgive is you.
1. You look at a map of a city you’ve never been to.
You see patterns and street names and they tell you nothing. The map remains dead, the city unknown.
2. You go to the city you’ve never been to.
It becomes a city you know.
3. You look at a map of a city you’ve been to, but have left behind. As you look at the map, you remember.
You are looking at nostalgia. You walk through street names and remember the taste of cake in the café whose name you forgot, but you remember its yellow walls and comfy chairs. A square is no longer four lines on a map, but an open space with people and statues and laughter and a fountain in the center. The monotonous, two-dimensional blue that indicates an ocean turns into postcard memories, so many shades of blue and green and the smell of salt and fish. The famous building with the famous name that everyone knows is now a personal experience, it is yours and yours alone in a way that will never make it anyone else’s. A billion feet have walked these (now familiar) paths and two of them were yours. You can trace the steps you have taken and you remember feelings and colours and strangers who offered you a smile. There is the hostel you slept in, there is the river you crossed so many times, there is the corner where you listened to the most amazing street musician. You fondly whisper street names that you had trouble pronouncing when you first spoke them, clumsily. You connect dots, and they turn to images in your head.
The map is alive, the city an old friend.
4. The map you look at is always the same; the perception is different. It is you who has changed.
p.s. // every time i look at a map I have a feeling that is hard to put into words
I want to go home, I say.
And he says this is your home. That is your bed, and that is your desk, and that is your family.
No, I plead, this isn’t a home, there has to be more.
And he says no, this despair is your home, this loss, this sadness, this hate, this is all you have. This is home.