Home Sweet Home (2)
When you are little, the world around you is huge. It is full of vast spaces, giant buildings, big cars and very tall people. You look up on almost anything, and when you look down, you can notice a whole other world below your feet: plants, cracks in the asphalt, bugs, rubbish on the pavement – all really interesting and within an easy reach.
Your walk to school takes you ages, and you can think over so many things on your way! Who will be your best friend that day, who may beat you up, why your pencil box is better than that of your desk neighbour, will you give back the eraser that you stole from the girl with pigtails in the front, how funny her head bobs up when you pull the said pigtails, how the teacher would react if she catches you – and if you are feeling like a good boy, you will even try to revise some of the day’s homework. All that before you are even half-way to school!
On your way, you’d stop by the shop and secretly pinch loaves of bread – just because. You will kick an empty tin down the road until you reach the school, even if it will take you on all sorts of zigzagging detours. You may not even notice whose hand is pulling your ear when the tin smashes into someone’s car.
Grown-ups seem like giants, whose sole purpose is to make your life difficult. They order you about, they give you bad marks at school, they tell you off, they put you in the corner, they make you listen to them and do things you don’t want to do. Your head is used to looking up at them, unless when you know you are guilty and your head looks down, at the friendly and cozy world below your feet.
But as you grow up, the big world slowly shrinks around you. You don’t really notice it though. Only looking back occasionally, do you find it weird how the road to school that used to take fifteen minutes, now only takes ten, how the once menacing grown-ups are suddenly just a nuisance and even butts of your jokes, and how you wouldn’t even bother bending down for a coin on the pavement unless it’s silver. But it is still the old, comfortable world, the one you grew up in, and the one that still controls you like a string puppet.
At some point in your life, you leave your comfortable world for another, strange one. You spend years adjusting there, where everything seems new every day, and you are not bothered or occupied by thoughts of how big or small it is – it’s just different, and you deal with it.
When you finally come back to the world you were born, you are shocked and amazed at how small and shrunken it suddenly is. The grown-ups you were once scared of are now small and harmless, and you, in fact, look down on them now. The toys you played with now seem tiny and silly, and you are surprised you were ever interested in them at all. The ceilings in the old houses are lower, and you can no longer stretch your legs in the bed you used to sleep. This small world is full of strange people your own size, that are everywhere and whose faces are frowned and tired. But when you look down, there are little people running, laughing, crying and playing down below there. Occasionally, they look up at you, and you step with care in order not to tread on their fragile small world.