Autumn Sunday


Monday, April 12, 2010

"Getting out of Oz"

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” I feel like Dorothy clicking my heels as I clutch this porcelain throne (the kind with the industrial flusher). If a toilet has an industrial flusher, it gets the job done, but it isn’t a homey kind-of toilet… if you know what I mean.

A lot of reflecting on life can happen when you are puking your guts out. Why is it that puking in anyone else’s toilet is one of the most deplorable things on the planet? This TLF has been home to me for the last few weeks, and although I don’t mind it, I really, really think it is about the last place on earth I would want to be when sick. First of all, the tile on the floor is pink… salmon colored pink, 1950’s colored pink. You do the math. That was like, 60 years ago. Who knows how many people have puked in this toilet or done God knows what else right on this very ground that I am kneeling on as I vomit. A lot of questions regarding home can be answered when you think about where, if you had to choose, you would want to puke. Now, don’t say it would be in a pretty place either. I would choose to puke in a nasty TLF over a fancy person’s home. That would be embarrassing— that wouldn’t feel like home.

Okay, okay, enough toilet talk. What I am really talking about here is how aesthetics play into our idea of home and how just being in a place we consider homey puts our minds and bodies to rest. If this place was prettier, I would feel prettier. I wouldn’t worry about what disease I might be catching as I kneel on this floor. For instance, my sister lived for a year in the ghetto of Philadelphia. I visited her once and was shocked by the surroundings. There was trash everywhere. Even when there was an option of throwing trash in a bin, people would throw it on the street. After a while, the environment really seeped into her. She became ill. She started having stomach problems. It wasn’t until she moved away that she started to feel well again. I have had one cold and two stomach viruses since I have been here. I am just wondering, then, if this environment is subconsciously making me a little ill.

So to take this question a little further, I am wondering how living on a military base makes people feel? Even the prettiest base is still a base. It is a neighborhood, but it feels like it belongs to someone else. Living on base may always feels temporary at best. After living in a place temporarily, like college, you always want to go home. How does a soldier feel then, when he lives, for years on end, in some kind-of dormitory. Does he forget how home feels? Is he subconsciously affected by the environment around him? Does it make him sick?

All of this "deep thinking" makes me feel for the soldiers on base— it kind-of makes me feel like inviting them over for cookies. I mean, even soldiers need to get out of Oz sometimes.