It’s awkwardly quiet in this house. Or actually, in me. The house in which I reside now feels familiar. I like the decoration, I know how stuff works and where everything is. Well yes, because it is my own house. I am back home and it feels like I have never been away. Yet, small changes indicate others have lived here. The soap is gone, the coffee maker is in a different place, my slippers are in the hallway.
Moreover I have got three wristbands on my wrist, a phone filled with pictures and messages from foreigners, there lies a tent in my hallway and there is a trailer in my backyard with a weather beaten lion on it. At night I dream about riding my bike through green rolling hills. In unguarded moments I think in English. Everything indicates that I’ve been away. I can remember it vividly too. I strongly suspect it has been real. And that makes me happy.
But something is not right. It is as if my soul somewhere along the way was blown of the bike and hangs in a tree somewhere next to the road, or that I have left my heart somewhere on a nightstand.
When I go out for a walk in the surroundings I know so well I feel… not much. The air is thick. The smells are different. It is difficult to breath deeply. A tight corset around my chest limits my breathing. I can see and hear the world around me moving, but inside it is ominously silent. A might instantly wake up somewhere on a couch in a living from somebody I have just met? No I am awake. I am in The Netherlands. I am sure of it. I am back. Or actually, I am further.