The Place My Soul Belongs

The place where my soul belongs isn’t a place I’ve been to yet. I’m not even sure if it will be a physical place at all honestly, more like a place in my life.

Ever since our first semester of college, when Katie moved away to ISU and I stayed at home to commute to Columbia, we’d always talk about “Our Place.” It’s still something we want but Katie is a college dropout with bills that are burying her to her neck and I don’t even want to think about my loans. She’s moved back home and I’m living in a basement with my dog. Where we’re at right now isn’t the most ideal, in both location and life. But we can’t stop imagining it, wanting “Our Place” more and more each day.

We’re going to have a studio in Chicago, one room with our mattress on the floor, taking the train to our jobs at a bookstore or coffee shop. We’ll sit by our window ledge to smoke and look at the starless city sky. On chilly days we’ll huddle under blankets, imagine being somewhere else, already happy with where we are but being greedy and wanting more.

We’ll have an apartment in Indianapolis. Two rooms but stay sharing one because at this point that’s what’s comfortable. We’ll save the spare for family and friends when they come to visit. They’ll be impressed with the full kitchen and stainless steel appliances, wanting to know how we could afford it. By this time Katie will have gone back to college and she’ll be an elementary school teacher and I’ll be a writer, freelancing for money. People will be jealous of our hardwood floors and balcony that we’ll be able to decorate with Jack-O-Lanters for Halloween and icicle lights for Christmas.

Then I’ll get a job offer in Madison and we’ll pack up to head there. We’ll have a little house with blue shutters and a small front yard that I’ll want to fill with flowers within the first week. Katie will have no trouble finding a job, teaching second graders because she’s always loved kids.

It will be great and we will be happy. Then we’ll move to California and maybe Washington and then probably back to Chicago because, just maybe, that’s where our souls belong.

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