I drove home a few days ago, and an hour and a half car ride has never felt so long. I haven't been home, really home, since Christmas vacation, and the thought of the comforting warm embrace of that familiar blue house, the fourth one on the left, was all I ever needed.
There is such a relief I feel in being in that house, in seeing my parents taking care of everything. It means I no longer have to worry, or stress, they are there to make it all better. They may only be the band-aid over my responsibilities, but at least its a comfort, if only for a moment.
As I was driving, little things began to happen as the start of my transition back into the Antelope Valley. It happens every time, and each small moment means I'm one step closer to that little blue house. First, The Fish Radio Station goes out, and I have to turn the dial to 95.1, the station I grew up listening to, Air 1. I smiled for the first time on my drive, I never realized how much I really missed the music.
Then, as the freeway thinned out and I coasted onto the 14, the beatiful scenery disappeared, and was replaced by the familiar tumbleweeds and tall mountains covered in brown grass and weeds. If you stuck your head out the window you would notice the change in the air, as if the moisture had been sucked out, leaving the air around you thinner, and harder to digest, except for those who already know how. I put my head out the window anyway, and breathed it in, letting the sun warm my face, just before it disappeared behind a mountain.
My favorite part of the drive however, is just before you hit the first Palmdale exit, and you see the city for the first time. I always try to time my drives home just for this moment, when the sun is finally gone, but its still early enough that everyone is still awake. Just as you make that sharp turn, if you look towards your right you can see almost the entire antelope valley stretched out in front of you, in a burst of light and color. Beneath you, only a cookie cutter little city, its light's span for what seems like miles, like a million tiny fireflies clustering together, twinkling in the moonlight. Next to it, is the lake. In the dark its an inky indigo that sparkles with the lights, lying flat and still. It reminds me of the old trampoline we used to have, that lay taut unless we were sitting on it of course, rippling the surface.
It gave me so much comfort, that I thought I might cry. The kind of happiness you feel when your bubbling so much under the surface you just have to let it out. But when I finally pulled into the little blue house, the fourth on on the left, and came up the walk to open the door, welcomed by screams of "Felic! Felic is here!" Thats when I was finally home.