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I got a text from you today. Unexpected, but completely appreciated and happily recieved. You said we hadnt talked in awhile, and I agreed. Regretably, I had allowed the matter to slip from my mind. Hell, we both did. Life happens, and we're both caught up, our noses buried deep in our respective storybooks. You told me about school, about how you were uncertain as to what path you should take. Graduation loomed over the horizon, and both graduate school and living abroad beckoned to you with equal enticement. You were hesitant to make a decision, but you can rest assured that whichever choice you pick will reap handsome dividends, solely because you are the investor. You want to move cross-country, and I cant blame you. The world is vast, inviting, unknown and captivating. A young woman of your formiddable talents will effortlessly carve out not only a niche, but a cavernous wellspring bubbling with opportunity and opulence. Here's to the future, my beloved little sister. Your's shines so blindingly brilliantly that it threatens to overtake the Sun itself. I love you.

When I left home, I selfishly and childishly expected time to halt in my absence. I departed confident that my friends would remain unchanged, the same girl would be waiting for me as she promised, and aging would gradually halt, grinding back up to speed only when my feet once again hit Northern Californian soil. Imagine my surprise when, upon my return, the landscape had altered so shockingly. Couples with foundations stretching back years had split, and people who hadnt shared more than a few mutual glances during high school were professing their love in a myriad of forms, solidifying it in the form of engagement rings. Others had fallen victim to the seductive decadence of overindulgence, narcotics, alcoholism and sex. I navigated this beleaguring new world with trepidation. My girl remained, but there was a crack in the soil that, in time, would deepen and widen into a canyon. I would fall in and spend 2 years escaping. As I left, I accepted begrudgingly that the world Id known was dead, a blanket of deceased memories. The plane took off and I groaned inwardly before I surrendered to exhaustion. Virginia beckoned, and one hell of a ride awaited.

"Home is where the heart is." My heart is splintered, fractured and cast asunder. Ive left pieces in the care of others foolishly, and abandoned other slices across the world, literally. I dont have a heart to guard my soul anymore. I simply am, pulsing and vulnerable. Any misstep could be fatal. Memento Mori. "Home is where you hang your hat." I love hats, but havent owned a hat rack, let alone a stable room, in over 4 years. What you consider absolute, unbelievable filth, my friends and I have undoubtedly considered unparalleled luxury. The obscenely, revoltingly privileged disgust me, and I enjoy breaking them at a card table. To Manny B. from LA, thank you for your donation last night. Much appreciated, now go beat your wife and suffocate on coke you worthless prick. "Home is where the anchor drops." Fitting, true, and resonating. Ive lived it, as have many others. In a masochistic way, I crave it once more. For a young man that loves nothing more than to drive down a long stretch of unknown highway in search of a whiskey scented Nirvana, such a lifestyle was both stifling and ideal. No rent, amenities paid for, and "food" free, plentiful and filling. On the other hand, being locked below decks for weeks at a time, cleaning, reading, working and doing push ups induces a type of institutionalization. I still cant handle large crowds. However, the freedom of the entire endeavor was unbelievable. At sea, even when surrounded by thousands of people, you and your soul are truly isolated. Want to talk to God or hear the yearnings of your heart inbetween beats? Sail a few hundred miles out, sit with a notepad and behold the sunset. While enraptured by the day melting away, being washed clean by a magenta cloth, witness the infant stars being born again like they are every night, emerging innocent and pure from the womb of a cerulean Heaven. Write. Forever. When you read what youd consider to be inane, meaningless scribblings, youll come face to face with your spirit in the truest sense. Fall in love with your beauty.

Ive made a home everywhere Ive gone, no conditions are unhospitable or alien to me. The frigid winter has made me appreciate the blooming embrace of heat in all of its splendor. Infernal temperatures have caused me to seek the solace of a freezing meat locker, my breath as visible as my discontent. My biggest fear as a 20 year old leaving home was that I would lose touch with all of my connections. All the unique, palpable feelings I had towards certain restaurants, coffeeshops, bookstores and venues would remain trapped there, sequestered from me by malevolent distance. I found, happily, that they simply followed me, maturing and compounding alongside me as I made my way through the world. Similar to the mind, the soul has a type of potent, remarkable plasticity. As I write this, Im at Savois, an upscale restaurant just outside of San Diego. Electropop hammers rhythmically from the ironic, yet fashionably oversized large speakers, transitioning cleanly from Eurotrash club anthems to Fusion music clearly Latin in origin. Its the kind of restaurant that used to intimidate Robert and I. We would sneak in surreptitiously and order free bread, sipping tea as we observed and studied men in suits wearing thick, imposing Rolexes, the men we aspired to be. Now we can both afford to eat at places like this indefinitely. Difference is, we dont want to, dont need to. The tea is good though, imported from Spain, heralded for the longevity it supposedly bestows after continued consumption. Either way, I drink tea like my friends drink beer, so I inhale it. This is home, and this is nowhere. Home is in your arms, in Room 114. Two Vagabonds, drifting. Here's to one hell of a homecoming.

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