HOME1a : one’s place of residence : domicile b : house2: the social unit formed by a family living together3a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also : the focus of one’s domestic attention <home is where the heart is>b : habitat— at home1: relaxed and comfortable : at ease at home on the stage>2: in harmony with the surroundings3: on familiar ground : knowledgeable at home in their subject fields>
This past Sunday at rehearsal I rushed up to my choreographer behind the props and tugged at her sleeve. ’I think I need to go home,’ I said, raspy with tears and dissociation, ’I really think I need to go home’. By habit I had plucked up an emotional entourage to grant me allowance to leave early: the tears, though real, fabricated in their origin, and the tremulous slur in my voice merely due to communicative dissonance between my brain and my tongue.
Going home means to leave elsewhere; to fly or crawl or scuttle off, to pause the game and go back to the main menu. For the first time I have been coming home to my very own home, and the feeling is soothing yet uneasy. My therapist keeps reminding me of how big a change this is, environmentally, for the whole system. In a way this process of change has helped her picture us in plural form as each alter takes the move differently.
The lexical dissonance is a source of confusion for each of us, however, in referral to this current state of residence as ’home’ and referring to the parents’ house as ’home’ – there have been hybrid forms of emphatic renditions of homehome and mymy home that are curiously unsettling.
Being away from the mother makes me realize how well conditioned we have gotten to the precise ways of ’respective home behavior’ tagged onto my familial residue. I have cleaned and scrubbed and organized in a Disney huff-puff fashion without a nagging mouth by my ear – though that is a vast exaggeration, it is the little reminders that sound the loudest from a parent’s mouth. Due to transitions and abrupt switches between alters and host, and, furthermore, cumbersome states of co-consciousness and co-front, the room and bathroom section change visual appearance very much during the day and little things disappear into the clutter that all of a sudden becomes organized. That is what you get when at ten in the morning you are a five-year-old fumbling through every nook for cookies and five hours later you are the executive organizer of the system, frowning at our inability to color-code the wardrobe.
Then we have the inner world, the inner home, the Clock.
We have been trying to make sketches with our feeble drawing skills but have yet to come up with anything looking like how it actually looks and feels inside. I guess one could ask the question, why the fuck does the gang live inside a huge cuckoo clock? I don’t have a concise answer for this, except for clear childhood associations from movies and television and books. Everybody has their own clock interface, running at its own pace, in its own time, and when the buzzer rings, the alter comes out either just into consciousness or to front/drive. The inside of the clock is furnished with little items out of the host’s memories or the current day, the way one’s dreamworld builds up out of the vaguest of associations. One day there is a pink elephant in the middle of the room made out of pillows, another day everything is made out of ice and the soundtrack from Ice Age is playing in the background.