Hot dog breath is pouring onto my tender alabaster-white shoulder in puffs, emerging from an exhausted Annie. Annie is the hot dog. Not a devil's food cake with a crevice of cream, but a small, cute shelter dog. She is perched on the back of the couch, snoozing.
The streetlight blinked into a steady glow at 4:46 this evening. At that moment I was looking at the white snow and the white clouds, both dark and dirty in spots, with my neighbors and I settled in between. It felt at that moment as it feels now; a perfectly fine place to pass the time away. A place to call a home.
Fundamentally, a home is a place to hide. A place to be with a very, very select group of people with whom you can live. You want to feel safe and be left alone, so you can gauge your limits in that safety. But, of course, that doesn't work. You can't explore the edges of the map from your TV room, despite what The Discovery Channel says.
Although some of us can reach the far limits of our ability and curiosity for the price of a subway ride or a walk through the square.
Other people have to go to Africa and shoot a lion in the face, or screw a child in The Philippines, or backpack on the moon. Their limits are farther away.
The universe smiles on some of us.