The Minority Report: The Curious Nature of Going Home

 

 

Beth Rotenberg

Five hours from dorm to doorstep and I was home in Toronto again for the last time before I would truly have to unpack. That same smile and warmth of the house I grew up in, slowly allowing myself to slip back into adolescence. But something new happened: for the first time I realized that I was surrounded by silence.

There was no Lady GaGa from the next room, no wild roommate laughter, apartment doors opening and closing, just the sound of my mother washing dishes after dinner or my father typing in his office. And sitting at the edge of my bed in a room cleaner than any environment I would normally inhabit, I felt an intense pull to come back to school. It’s strange to travel all day to get home, only to find that you just left it.

As a senior the realities of home strike a new chord. In two months, after the noise of Hilton Head and graduation ceremonies, we will return home for an indefinite amount of time. A sharp contrast from the independent lives we lead at school, where we live by our own accord, eat sleep and party when we want. Then we’re home again where time seems to hang stagnant but for the minor decorative changes and electronic enhancements. We’re adults, expected to make choices and choose paths, but we are back among the relics: our old trophies, posters of Freddy Prince Junior and those teddy bears that have grayed and dusted around the ears.

I recently saw Alice in Wonderland and watching her tumble down the rabbit hole I considered this idea of home, time and moving on. Who among us, senior or not has not felt like Alice, alone in a room of doors holding a single key. A vile to drink, a cookie to eat – opportunities and choices, with no windows into what lies ahead, just what we’ve collected, our pool of knowledge and our quotients of bravery that may nudge us along.

And once we’ve chosen a door, the path is new and the guidance is muddled. Combing through the pool of jobs and internships I swear that I’ve seen the wide mouth grin of the misty Cheshire Cat and pulling up a chair at the Mad Hatters table; I have felt ultimately beguiled with the riddles and strange lyric of the future.

Now we are presented with an open book, allowed to write whatever we please, color outside the lines.

It’s scary to think that the world is so large and this lined path we’ve walked for so long may be coming to an end. But these are good times, not simply a fork in the road, there’s room to roam, pick and choose – we are confined

by nothing.

So consider the Caterpillar, and his one question. Blunt and strange in his grammar, he blows a thick hookah ring and asks Alice “Who are you?” and poor Alice stumbles on her words; she may have more easily answered the Hatter when he inquired why a raven was like a writing desk. “Why, I hardly know, sir. I’ve changed so much since this morning,” and haven’t we all paused at this same question. So now, home from some other home, the Cheshire cat wrapping it’s scarf like tabby-tail around my neck I consider exactly that: who am I?

More specifically, who am I now? Sit and ponder, sip the Hatter’s mad concoction and trust the anxious Hare, his fated timepiece, and for now let’s just “begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end:

then stop.”