I rode the bus all night. I walked from my apartment in the posh heights of DC Northwest - an apartment I could only afford because I was paying student tuition and they had an overflow in the dorms - to the Metro stop at 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. I carried a backpack full of swag and a fleece blanket hobo-rigged to the top of the backpack. I ran into some of my intern friends going up the Metro escalator, out for a night of carousing on Capitol Hill. I looked like a girl running away from home, but I wasn't embarrassed because I was, in fact, going home.
Home to Meadville where my boyfriend was finishing out the last semester of his senior year at Small Liberal Arts College on a Hill.
I rode the bus all night long. I thought I might catch some sleep, but I was worried about the other passengers stealing my fleece blanket. Or my wallet. A man with an unkempt face and few teeth got on the bus at Breezewood (hotel capital of the world!) and claimed the seat next to mine. He offered me a sip from his styrofoam coffee cup. The highway lights scanned the windows of the bus like the flashlights of police officers looking in on an abandoned vehicle. I couldn't nod off because the lights were too bright. I couldn't find a comfortable position because the coffee guy was making me nervous.
Somewhere my mother was saying a novena for me, since she knew I'd be riding the bus all night long. We finally pulled over at a truck stop where the layover was 45 minutes in some godforsaken town in Pennsyltucky. I was too tired to do anything but use the restroom and give a sideways glance to the sad stuffed animals at the gift shop.
We finally arrived in Meadville just as the students would be clambering around to dining halls and class on a Friday morning. I walked from the Meadville Mall (where you can buy such things as crystal dreamcatchers and taxidermy skunk hats) up the hill, that lofty hill, to campus. The dew on my skin mixed with the tears in my eyes -- oh to be coming home!
I slept all day in my boyfriend's bed as he went to classes and meetings and what I allege was a frisbee game that he no longer remembers. I inhaled the intoxicating smell of his deodorant from the fibers of his bedsheets and I was the happiest I had been in months since I was finally, finally home.
It was then that I knew I didn't want to be apart from Lovey Loverpants any more. He was home to me, and he is still the place that I return to, whose cold toes run into the crooks of the backs of my legs which I protest, but only momentarily, since that is where they belong, since I am his home, too.