It feels right being home. Jo’s death left me momentarily drowning in a cloud of anxiety, which soon developed into a pressing need to go back to Michigan– the first time I’d felt any sort of necessary connection to the state since leaving it six months ago. It’s a slight relief to feel happy and back in tact now that I’m in my own apartment. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s better that J isn’t here for my homecoming— proof the content that comes with being here is purely my own.

The feeling of responsibility is one that I take pride in; it’s exceedingly easy to slip in and out of, depending on my mood or how much I had to drink the night prior. Being back around family, friends, and other familiarity makes me less self-reliant, and therefore more careless. Exhibit A): The parking ticket I received on my first night back and have still been too lazy to pay, though the fee doubles weekly. Maybe the heat or too many hours in the car are getting to me. I can’t have anyone holding me together.

Here home tonight. Our two-bedroom apartment with one too many people and two too many dogs. I was the last one to make certain the door was locked, the dogs were let out, and the lights turned off. Trivial actions that I’d never given much thought, but tonight they gave me a sense of calmness.