"Do you want to go home?" I whispered into his fur as we looked out the window at the winter snow coming down.
I remember feeling a little lonely, and he was my solid thing. Something that I could hug, even if he was reluctant about that whole deal. It was a scene that would repeat a handful of times throughout January and February, as I looked out of my basement apartment window at the worst winter DC would have on record in decades.
I moved New Years Eve 2009, and brought my kitten long for the ride. It was a rough adjustment. I'd come back, after four years, to a city where I didn't have intentions of returning--not because I didn't love it, but because it's hard.
Living in Washington, D.C. is no cakewalk. Nor is any major city, I imagine, but DC seems to expend a special brand of hell on its residents in the form of non-voting rights, impossible traffic and almost no ability to have a car without hundreds of dollars in fees and fines, and the reality of thousands of people living in a ten mile wide city that can't govern itself without Congress looking over its shoulder.
And god, I love it.
My second five years there were not without difficulty. That could be the biggest understatement I've uttered since 2015 began. But, it was mine. It became home because I kicked a home out of the rotting wood and packed ice, and started to root.
But, it was time for our life to change. The roots were not enough. I packed him up again, and off we went.
Here we are. A bigger home, a new job, a new life. Close to home, but not home. The worst winter on the books in decades, just as the winter I made my last transition was. I begin kicking out a home in the rotting wood and the packed ice.
We are here.
Tonight, after they surveyed the falling snow, I picked Charlie up and walked around closing blinds. We stopped in front of the patio door and looked out. I was just a little bit lonely.
I hugged him close and we watched the snow fall. I whispered into his fur. "Do you want to go home?"