By Suzanne van Rijn

Mom wanted me to come home for the holidays, but when I reminded her it was
only March she still persisted, saying, "There's always St. Patrick's Day."
Somehow I agreed. After packing a few things, I jumped on a bus to home. To
tell you the truth, I missed my old stomping grounds.
When the familiar bus station came into view I let out a long awaited sigh.
My shoes once again touched the solid pavement and carried me towards a line
of waiting taxies, passing an all-night burger joint along the way. I
realized, then, how hungry I was. Mom won't want to fix me anything at this
hour, I reasoned, stepping into the restaurant.
I noticed the only decoration in the place was a pot of wilting gardenias on
the cashier's desk. An odd-looking man, wearing pink bowling shoes and baggy
pants, greeted me, saying, "Sit where you like." I took a seat at the
counter, remembering the old bar stools I used to twirl around on as a boy.
After glancing at the menu the man took my order, a tuna fish sandwich on rye
and a glass of root-beer. The cook, who whistled "Yankee Doodle" as he
artfully created my tuna fish sandwich, was Mr. Pink-Shoes also. In fact, he
was the cashier, cook and waiter all-in-one. Poor man, I though, he should go
home for the holidays too.
Once in a taxi, I was headed towards home, or at least, after a couple of
U-turns. The taxi driver had as much trouble finding 103 Broomstick Drive, as
searching for a needle in a haystack. I wasn't much help either, since the
city had changed a lot since I'd left. Finally, the cab drove up to the house
I had so many memories of, and Mom came running out, her arms ready to hug
me. The driver unloaded my luggage, and being a kind man, brought it up to
the front porch.
"My boy, home for the holidays," Mom laughed happily, hardly able to beleive

"Going Home" belongs purely to Suzanne van Rijn © 1997.

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