I learned, as a child, that there was no place that was home. My great-grandfather’s farm was home, but then the Corps of Engineers came along and bought it from him so they could build a reservoir, whose shores never even came near his land.

He used the money to build a replacement house in the next town, and that was home for a while – not that we lived there, but on weekends, we’d go from whatever apartment or house my mom was renting up there.

My mom went to Nashville and I went to Turkey, and then to Nashville for a while, and then Pappy’s house really was home for a bit, until Mom decided to move us again to Montana. My great-grandfather died and my grandparents, who lived wherever the work was, decided to rent out and then sell his house.

No place was home, after that. Not ever, not really. Just a place I could put my stuff for a while, until I couldn’t afford to pay rent or something else changed.

Home is my laptop bag. It’s the only thing that goes everywhere with me, the only thing nobody can take from me. (Some have tried. All have failed. Some are probably still terrified of ever crossing my path again.) Everything I need to make money fits in it. With a backpack for my clothes, I have everything I need.

Life is a bridge, said Akbar the Second; travel across it, but build no house upon it. My entire life is a series of often bitter reminders of the truth of that proverb.

This is my home.