Contributor's Letter: Summer at Home
This past week, I got to leave NYC for a few days and go back to the other place I call home: my parents’ little red brick house in Arlington, Texas. The house that smells like my mom’s Salvadorian food, Lavender Fabuloso, and those apple cinnamon wall plugs from Bath and Body Works. My dad has a green thumb (why didn’t I inherit that?), so every summer, our backyard is filled with freshly grown tomatoes, apples, green beans, corn, watermelons, and peaches.
I picked off a beautiful, round peach from one of the trees and took a bite, marveling at the beauty of homegrown produce. (Also, I officially can’t see a peach anymore without thinking of Call Me By Your Name. When was I going to get my romantic summer in an Italian villa?)
It was a scorching 107 degrees in Texas and even though I burned my legs and arms getting into my old 2004 Nissan Altima, I cranked up the AC, blasted In My Feelings, and drove to my favorite thrift store where $4 flowy dresses and $2 summer blouses were a magical, suburban reality.
I was home.
Every time I come visit, my mom asks me the same question. “Does this still feel like your home? Does it ever feel different?”
I always tell her that home will always be home. But you can call multiple places your home. It can be in your mom’s kitchen stuffing your face with pupusas and carne asada, in your favorite writing spot with your journal in your hands, on your best friend’s fire escape, or in the Lower East Side on a rooftop with a $14 cocktail in your hand. (Abby, fruity cocktails are also my weakness!)
This is my second summer in NYC and I’ll be cherishing every minute of it, despite the number times I have to say “Sorry, I’d hug you but I’m so gross and sweaty right now” every time I see my friends. It’s okay because this is one of the places I’m calling home.
So here’s to all of our our happy places and that dewy summer glow we’ve all been sporting lately.