Life can feel kind of off. One reason for vague unease is not being able to live in what is your home. I’m a Pacific Northwestern who had to leave due to feeling worthless when I was near my parents, and because I could not deal with drizzle. Whatcom County, Washington just might be the drizzle capital of the world. The sky oft looks like slightly soiled cotton batting, which is pretty depressing in and of itself. Sky, drizzle, and dampness that has seeped into your marrow can make life seem quite grim. But I yearn for that place. It can be achingly beautiful—and life there certainly has benefits. I’d love to drive to a seafood store “on” the water and buy fresh clams, oysters or mussels for dinner. I’d love to drive up to Mt. Baker and enjoy that beauty. “Sea to Ski in Sixty Minutes” used to be a local slogan. I don’t know if that is still true. The message remains valid.

However, I can’t live in or near Bellingham. My parents are gone so their negative effect on me is no long there. But I stay in New Jersey because of … drizzle and the accompanying grimness. Washington and New Jersey do share at least one thing—liberal leaning politics. At least I don’t yearn after a home that can’t be home because I couldn’t stand existence in a hate-filled and dummied-down world, i.e., a Republican state. I think of the current Republican party as a pus filled boil on the ass of America. How very unkind of me, but it’s benign compared to my longer description.

I assume many people have a locale they love and yearn for even though they couldn’t stand living in it. Weather, family, politics, religion, etc. would make it impossible. Unfortunately some are stuck with living in a place they dislike/hate. I feel sorry for those so trapped.

If I had to, I could live in Whatcom County, Washington. But I could not live in a Red state; I’d be in perpetual suicide/murder mode. I made a home by choice not entrapment. I yearn after my home-that-can’t-be-a-home, but I can visit family there, I can look at pictures, I can smell an evergreen forest without being in one. Thank evolution for the power of olfactory memory. I can remember sitting at a kitchen table piled high with fresh caught crab. I can remember juice and butter running down my arms onto the newspaper on the table as I ate my fill of Dungeness. Heaven. I can remember. And New Jersey rarely drizzles for days, weeks, eternities.

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