Some people, more than place, are home. The smell of them. The slight laugh, a truncated chuckle with some irony thrown in. the feel and look of them – even though time adds pounds and grays hair. The voice reverberating deep in a chest. The smile not telling everything.

He was there when I was becoming. He was the mortar to my bricks and held me in place.

Life gets complicated. Marriage and kids and countries and years of silence punctuated by short bouts of “almost”. Almost a replica of the human hometown. Crack the same jokes. Insert laughter just where it would have been. Close but so far away from what it was.

But home seemed changed. Home was different. Home was gone.

Only to rediscover eight hours later at the heart of a hug that home is still there, under the years. And he says, “people don’t change, not really, they deepen but…”. And the ‘but’ hangs there uncertainly but profoundly understood in its unfinished incarnation.

Tomorrow or next week may bring hurried and harried life back into my home. May invite laughter that doesn’t ring with the same joy, or hugs that don’t evoke the same tears that I know are possible. But an eight hour respite from homelessness is a reprieve unanticipated and for this tiny moment I am sated.

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