I'm thinking about homes a lot lately – the inflammation of housing markets over the past 18 months, certainly, but also what I desire from a home, what constitutes a dream home.
I dream about homes – figuratively and literally – a great deal, and over the last few days have had some peculiar experiences: I dreamt the building I'm living in had an embodied avatar I was meeting in the sub-basement (the building has no sub-basement); I dreamt that I was in my childhood home's laundry room, with a specificity of location in space that baffled me in the dream itself.
But I've daydreamed of a particular place for a long time, since I was twelve or thirteen: a huge house built of grey stone in a grey climate, with three floors and many rooms, by a small river that winds through woods. Each of my dearest friends would have a room in this house kept for them, just as they liked it, whenever they wished, to spend as much or as little time in as they needed; the house would be large and generous enough to give us space to be together and apart without imposition.
In addition to my friends' rooms, there would be themed rooms: a room full of bladed weaponry and old armour; a room full of musical instruments; a room full of scarves that have been gifted to me; a windowless night room, its walls decorated in art depicting night-time scenes, beneath a domed skylight only uncovered at dusk to let in the moon and stars.
It's strange to revisit that dream now, because it feels very much like a house built of the stuff of dreams, of a child's evening musings and longings. Adulthood's requirements are much more mundane: on-site laundry, natural light, hardwood floors, a hospitable kitchen, central air and inexpensive heating, all of which soothe my soul fully as much as walls covered in books and art and a room in which to write. I've learned, in the intervening years, that in the absence of woods and river I long for green space and a garden.
This is no shade on where I presently live, which is wonderful, and where I have what feel like the seed-forms of all those things, that need tending into fruit – but it's also temporary, contingent. I wonder – perhaps too much – whether any of those feelings of contingency change when one owns a home, or whether their polarity flips – whether one feels trapped, tied down. "The house is a ghul," I've heard my mother and aunt say, because it's always hungry: always needing repair, maintenance, always liable to break around you at the worst possible time.
So, I'd love to know your thoughts on homes: what do you long for in a home that you don't already have? What do you have that makes your dwelling feel like home?
Postscripts of news:
- There are only two days left to buy tickets to Dressed As People, the extremely queer theatrical collaboration I did with some incredible humans! After June 27, that'll be it for this streaming iteration of the show!
- If you enjoyed the show and would like to talk to us about it, you can join us for a virtual Zoom event on Sunday at 9PM EST!
- If you SUPER enjoyed the show and want to tell the world, we would love for you to do so! One such way is to consider nominating it for the Ottawa Fringe Festival Audience Choice Award!
And that's it for now – I wish you a wonderful weekend!