Tonight, I am at parents’ home in Staten Island.  The house smells of new paint, and many things are a different color than I remember.  I knew this in advance, but somehow, I feel unprepared.  My room is no longer my room. It has kept my badass sloppy dark blue paint job, but been stuffed full of other people’s stuff. An extra dresser, antique and oversized, which my mother and grandfather refinished together a very long time ago.  The vacuum, acoustic guitar, someone’s laundry basket. A large microwave, plugged in and ready to cook. More lamps than I think myself capable of finding a use for. I don’t live here anymore. Maybe it’s time to get off my duff and clean that last bit of my stuff out.

It seems like every time I come back, there are big changes. The kitchen is redone, my room is a storage closet, the mall is rearranged, my coffee shop is gone, that store around the corner that’s been there forever has been replaced. In a million little ways, things I’ve known all my life gradually become unfamiliar.  Someone’s replaced all the butter with low-fat butter substitute. There’s liquor under my bed, and it’s not mine.

This visit, at least one change is for the better. An old friend is finally dating a girl who’s not psycho. I’m rather pleased.