Where are you from?

by Kat

Write about the intersection of place, identify, and being.

Depends when you ask, I suppose — are you talking about where I grew up? The spaces and places I inhabited, although to be honest with you — I spent a lot of time in my room waiting for things to be over or maybe to begin.

I’m from a lot of places — from the Northwest, where our apartment, one of several, overlooked a hill with cows and a highway behind, from my grandparents’ guestroom and the rental house that followed, while that space was still mine.

Or perhaps the college town, the one where I found myself speaking my narrative aloud, in the space between a chair and a couch — the apartment I shared with two Deboras, their mothers, the Isabels, and a Megan.

The place where I learned to cook for myself with countless googling and scanning through books, only to pull out a microwave entree another day — man, that was a comfy couch — I remember sinking into the blue fabric — then there was another apartment after that, shared with roommates I sort of knew.

My current apartment is mine — in its scatteredness — as dish mountain can be seen in the distance, projects in progress, things waiting to be done; something called a floor-couch in the living room — I always expected to move next summer, before the shift.

Now, I’m in stasis or something — maybe I should buy a couch — I’ve never planned more than a week and a half in advance; that was much too scary. I live on my own now — with cafes that have become my office space, my living room, my home perhaps.

Familiarity is home — space of one’s own is home and I am from a place where things were terribly uncertain, so I long for the fixedness and predictability of my own space — and yet I’ve grown familiar with the temporary — in a rental I’ve claimed and yet I don’t feel settled.

Where I’m from, “things weren’t so fixed.” Plans were muddled over only to be changed again, so maybe I’m waiting for something more permanent — to know where I’m from will remain.