When I was six years old I spent months living on a sailboat and traveling from place to place. Although I do not remember much about that experience I do remember the day I finally returned to my house and I remember how great it felt to finally to finally feel at home. The sailboat, despite being where I lived for months, was not the place I considered home. On the other hand my parents went away for 10 days when I was 13 during which I lived at my friends house. By the end of the third day I remember asking my friend if “we were going home for lunch,” completely forgetting that it was his home, not mine, that we were living in. I came to the realization that home in the place you feel most comfortable. You could spend your whole life living in the same house with the same people and then one day move someplace else that within minutes gives you that feeling deep in your stomach that tells you that you are truly home. Home is not necessarily a place that you live or once lived, but instead home is a feeling. Home is the feeling you get when you suddenly feel relaxed and at peace. You feel comforted by your surroundings and you feel safe. There does not necessarily have to be one specific place that makes you feel like home but instead a group of people that can create the feeling of home whenever you are around them. Home to me was the garage at my friends house, but only because it was a place that a great group of guys could get together. It was not a nice place to hang out, but us boys lowered our standards at the price of having a place that we could call our own. The couch, this ugly worn green couch, barely suspended you above the ground, and anybody novice enough to jump onto it found themselves hitting the floor. The recliner chair was broken into a permanent recliner and the walls had to be covered with posters to hide the ugly yellow paint that covered them. At first it took some time to get used to the less than stellar furniture but as time progressed we came to enjoy them. They became comforting as well, and the once disappointing smell of the couch almost made falling asleep at home a little difficult. It is the amount of time that was spent in that garage and the relationships and memories that were formed in that garage are what makes it feel like home. It was a place that people could relax and it gave us something that we needed. The home feels very like “place” described in “Story of the Woods”. It gave him a place we he could be himself and the “place gave him something that he needed. The garage is my place, but it would not be my place without the people I was with. It was the interactions that we had together that made the place special. We could have done the same thing we were doing but parked our car next to the boys and girls club and just hung out in the car. I would have been writing about the car and talking about how the smell of the car is comforting and remind me of home.
It is not at all embarrassing to say that home is the unfinished garage at my friends house. Most weekends we would sit down around the television, although the television was never the main focus of our attention, it was merely background noise that could be barely heard over our constant laughter and chatter. There were really only three of us regulars in the garage, although every night a new face or two would arrive to add some change to the weekly event. Every night was, on paper, exactly the same, but it was always different. One night before we left for college was one of the most memorable, despite consisting of the same activities as it always did. There was three of us, William, Zachary, and I, long time friends recently united inside the garage. That night we sat down in our lawn chairs, feet cold against the cement floor, and wasted no time before lighting up the conversation. Within minutes the jokes and laughter started to fog up the garage just as it had every night before.