This weekend I did everything I had planned except my homework. I did laundry for free, ruffled my baby brother’s hair, ate sushi, ate chikfila, ate my mother’s cooking, drove all around Greensboro on my lonesome singing as loud as I could, had a sleepover with my best friend, and went to see the kids with whom I used to act beast their Shakespeare. That was all great, but my primary activity was hugging people. I am always hugging people wherever I go, but this was different. One-armed hugs, spinning hugs, hugs where you scream into each other’s ears, and collapse into each other’s arms, and hugs where it’s just cozy. So many endorphins. Walking into school and hugging one person after another after another until you forget who you’ve hugged and who you haven’t. That is coming home, my friend. Where you hug, and eat, and still have time to think.
But now…I’m back. I’m back at school. It is not home but it is partly so. It’s a halfway house for kids like me. Kids who are neither here nor there, who can vote but not drink, get married but not rent a car, whose paper soul is beginning to rip down the perforated line as huge invisible hands tug it gently in the simultaneous directions of Greensboro and Grove City. Because now everybody I have to love is no longer in one place. I have to drive hours and hours to complete my rounds. Ah, well, thank God for long, cramped car rides, because now there are hallmates to be hugging.