6Today, I rush through my final exam (Globalisation, you are a harsh mistress). Then, following mandatory drinks and two hours of shouting at a television as though it's stolen my soul, I return home.
I dipped into this topic with a friend recently, where she couldn't seem to be distinguish between "home" and "my house" - the former referring to the town in which I was rared, the latter being my present accomodation in Dublin. I probably didn't explain it to her very well, but here goes.
"My house" is a variable term. In Clonmel, it's Highbury, The Spa. In Dublin, it's 4 Rosemount, Malahide Road, Donnycarney. Both are buildings in which I have a bed and other amenities. Sure kicks sleeping outside in the rain square in the nuts.
"Home" is something entirely different. It's a much more emotive term, something which draws from wells of nostalgia and sentiment somewhere inside the guts, black stuff and about fifty Slim Jims. It's where you feel most comfortable, where you can arise at three in the afternoon, lolligag about and feel like you're not wasting your life away, that you're contributing. It's the place where you want time to freeze so you can remain trapped in apathetic bliss for all eternity.
But, unlike true sentiment, it's a double-edged sword. It has its scoundrels, its mind-numbingly low number of amenities. But it's got people to share the boredom with you. That's not to say that I don't have some very dear friends in the Big Shmoke - I'm delighted to be acquainted with some truly wonderful people, who know who they are.
It's the people you now share a pint with who nearly wet themselves laughing when you twanged a ruler off a desk in sixth class. It's those who kiss their girlfriends on the cheek as you recall their eminent disgust at the prospect of same. It's the individuals whose names you already have written on wedding invitations.
They're home. Not bricks and mortar, not addresses and postcodes (I'm aware we don't have those outside of Dublin), but flesh and blood, laughter, friendly jibes, all that malark. That's what makes coming home all worth it.
That and mam's cooking. That woman can roast a side of beef, that's for sure.
Kudos to those of you who spotted the Simpsons reference, by the way.