I am getting lost in the flea market. There are hundreds of aisles, hundreds of booths, hundreds of people walking through a wasteland of old chairs, VHS tapes, dolls with cracked faces. There are tables with peeling paint, cameras that have not worked in years but look cool, quilts someone’s grandmother made. There are tarnished rings, lamps that use oil instead of electricity, books about private detectives that come from what seems like a different world.

And yet. And yet, inhaling the must of this place, finding myself in the deepest, darkest corners of the market where no one ever goes, I feel something familiar. I feel as though when I breathe I am breathing someone else’s breath. That the china on the shelf beside me must  belong to someone I know, despite the fact that it has not been used in fifty years.

We are drawn to the past, it seems. Especially now, especially these days. We build strip malls and towering sky scrapers and we bustle through city streets and yet, we long for the familiarity of a rusted wash basin, or a murky glass jam jar. We imagine lighting sparklers on the Fourth of July and see children in suspenders and clean haircuts, dainty mary janes and frilly cotton sundresses. We wander through flea markets and breathe someone else’s breath. Imagine how they would have used these things. We take them home and we put them on the mantle. We stare at them and stare at them, completely at a loss as to how to make these things fit into our lives. We desperately want to.

We don’t belong here. We don’t belong among the concrete and McDonald’s drive thru’s, the parking lots and the buildings made of glass.

We are homesick.

2 Responses to “Homesick”

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