End Kwote

After it's all said and done, life's just a bunch of kwotes

There’s something funny at the end of this story. I promise.

I’ll never forget the first day I came home this summer. I’d been gone nearly the whole season. And that’s unfortunate because summer’s so beautiful here. Not too hot, but just warm enough. But that’s not the point. The point is what I did when I saw my home for the first time in three months.

First, I got a beer. It was my dad’s beer, and that only made it all the sweeter. Then I sat down on my back porch which overlooks a big, green yard. I sat down, and I took a deep breath. And then I cried.

I don’t know why. I didn’t expect it. It just sort of happened. I sat there, drinking and crying. It sounds sort of pathetic. And maybe it is. But I don’t really give a shit.

I do give a shit about my home, though. I used to think that I didn’t, but I do. I give more than a shit actually. It’s probably more like ten shits in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know how I’d even begin to quantify the amount of shits I give about it. It would definitely be a lot, though, in comparison to all the other things in my life. But that doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that I care. I care about my home.

I should be up front with you. I live in a boring place. For anyone under the age of 30, where I live is not attractive. I thought as much when I was growing up. “I’ll never come back here,” I said. “I hate this place.

I never wanted to come home. I wanted to get as far away as possible.

But then I turned 18.

And then I turned 19.

Then I turned 20.

Then I turned 21.

“I can’t wait to go home,” said 21-year old me. “I can’t wait to get back.”

To be fair, I haven’t spent a full year here in quite some time. I go to college, so my visits home are relatively brief. I haven’t really “lived” here in a while. But, if I had to, I don’t think it would be so bad. I think I could actually like it. As long as I had a back porch, a big, green yard, beer (not necessarily my dad’s) and memories of a great, great life.

I think I started to cry because I realized all the things that I’d been missing. I realized that I’d been away from the place that made me who I am. I tied my shoes for the first time here. I had my first kiss here. I (not so ironically) had my first beer here. I fell in love for the first time here. And I spent my teenage years here falling in and out and in and out of love until I realized that life never stops teaching me stuff. It never stops saying, “Hey, look at me, idiot, and I’ll make you a better person.” It never stops showing me new things. And sometimes those things are scary. Sometimes I’d rather not see them.

I’m going to leave my home tomorrow. And it’s possible that it’ll be the last summer day I ever see here.

I’d really rather not do that.

But I will.

Because I have to.

And if I had a penny for every time I said “I’d really rather not do that, but I will, because I have to,” well, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a job in the next few months.

But enough of that sad stuff. Enough of the heaviness. This is the end of the story. And as promised, something funny awaits you.

Are you ready?

Here it is.

I’ve been sitting here this whole time, typing this, on the very same back porch, overlooking the very same big, green yard, drinking my dad’s very same beer that I mentioned at the beginning of the story. And I may or may not have cried several times.

I apologize if that wasn’t as funny as you’d hoped. I can see why you might not be laughing. It actually might have been sad.

But a lesson that life as taught me is that the line between sadness and humor is often very thin. And most times, it just takes a smile, a shake of the head, and a concerted effort to laugh to cross from one side to the other.

End Kwote

8 thoughts on “Something Funny

  1. The Cutter says:

    It’s kind of funny how home takes on a different meaning once you leave.

    1. End Kwote says:

      Very true. Even though my home town is very small and very boring, I find myself missing it more and more when I’m gone.

  2. Erik says:

    Hey, Andrew. I understand you better as a person on account of this post. And, strangely enough, I will likely be talking in my own post this Friday about me and reflecting and crying and appreciating and such things.

    The concept and feel of “home” does a weird slide under your feet during and right after college, which you’ve captured well here. From the first time coming back for “break” during college, your room never quite feels the same. It’s like you’re visiting your former-you’s life, even though everyone acts like you’re not and like nothing has changed.

    And then, whether you had a great upbringing or not, you get that nostalgia and melancholy thing. When you’re 18 and 19, the “-teen” ending suddenly doesn’t feel so bad, because we can imagine that it’s still tethering us to childhood somehow. But all the while, it becomes more and more like watching a movie than standing right where you always stood, doing what you always did on that porch or in that yard. And you try and try to step out of the movie and back into reality as it was, but you never quite do.

    And so you cry a little.

    Aside from the moment you painted, I want to say again that your writing style and voice is … well, better than you yet know. being able to balance the depth of this with humor, the vulnerability with crassness … not easy to do; yet you did so effortlessly (at least from the reader’s perspective).

    1. End Kwote says:

      As always, thanks for the comment. I think home evokes some of the most mixed up emotions in people. I know a lot of people (myself included) who harbored a sort of resentment towards their homes. Probably because they couldn’t wait to get out and see the world. But once you get and see things, you realize what home really is.

      And thank you for the kind remarks. This was sort of a piece where I just put it all out there without really thinking. I find that those are many times my best pieces.

  3. That last paragraph. It hits home

    1. Erik says:

      I’m curious to know how this last paragraph hit home for you, if you care to share.

      1. Thin line between sadness and humor. All it takes a smile to move from one side to another.

        Don’t you agree that its perfect?

        1. Erik says:

          Too often, people think of emotions in terms of simply-described ones: happy, sad, mad. But some emotions are neither happy nor sad, such as nostalgia, which is sort of being sad about something happy that you can’t ever quite recapture. And in these times especially, it’s easy to slide between the two extremes of the “bridge between,” where tears and smiles both exist.

          The short answer: Yes, it’s perfect. 🙂

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