It’s 1pm in the afternoon in California. It’s a baking 90 degrees and the air is still. I’m visiting my home town out near the Palm Springs desert and I wonder how I could have ever tolerated the heat.
I’ve been living in the UK for the past ten years and every time I come home, I feel further and further removed from the things that used to seem so familiar. The small town of about 10,000 where my family home is has grown. New shops and restaurants cover the main street that used to have only a supermarket, a few gas stations and a cop shop. The hills where my parents live used to have about 20 houses on it, now the landscape has been taken over by track homes and estates.
Little things that I never noticed before strike me as foreign. There are American flags flying in their posts on my neighbours houses and little plaques with bible quotes stuck on the lawns. At the supermarket, the checkout girl bagged my shopping and looked at me like I had just landed from Mars when I offered to help.
I have never felt so much like a foreigner in my own country before. It’s not just the change in my home town, but subtle things. The way people dress and talk, their manners, no better or worse, but somehow different. In the same way that I no longer feel completely at home here, I have never felt like I entirely belonged in Edinburgh. So, in some ways, I feel like I am without a country.
Today’s Prompt: Home
Usual rules: try to keep it under 1,000 words and ask yourself, what does home mean to you?