Staying at home is sitting in a bright room watching the day darken behind glass. A noisy washing machine. Reruns of A Place in the Sun.
Staying at home is footsteps going down the stairs to boil the kettle. Followed closely by footsteps going back up the stairs to ask if anyone wants a brew.
Staying at home is a sore back and vitamin D deficiency and baked beans. Not speaking to your neighbours when you see each other smoking out your respective back doors. It happens quietly every single day, it’s happened too many times now to say anything at all.
Staying at home is the desperation to romanticise a walk through Hyde Park. A walk with two pairs of socks on, an overpriced coffee in hand, and a fierce determination on to ignore the common march of humankind towards death. Staying at home is pretending that a caramel latte willsufficiently relieve this kind of dread. Staying at home is knowing that it has to.
Staying at home is laughing and cheap white wine and Radio 2 in the morning.
Judging the days by how much milk is left in the fridge. Who’s turn it is to buy the milk.
Staying at home is the person who you haven’t seen in months. Forehead kisses. The heaviness in your throat when you need to cry.
Staying at home is the way he takes jumpers off. Sunflowers. Socked feet touching underneath blankets. Custard creams with the corners broken off.
Staying at home is treading water in a liquid world.
Because home is your safest memory. The one you don’t tell anyone, for fear that it will be dulled with the assessments of other people. Home is in sidelong glances and certain lights of day. Home is in your head.
Poem by Alice Graham
Artwork by Jika Edström (@ugly_ladies)