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from Up North

The Difference Between a House and a Home


A “house” is a place where people live out their ordinary lives. A “home” is a place where one goes when one has something interesting they want to do. One must, of course, have access to both. One has one’s house, and one keeps all one’s stuff—one’s clothes and one’s cookwear—there. One leaves one’s house, say, once a week, though, and goes to one’s home, where one does something of note. One might, say, carry on an affair in one’s home if it is true that back at one’s house, one has a spouse of some gender or another. One might, say, go to one’s home when one decides that it is high time to commit some sort of suicide, because suicide is about the most alive thing one can do, and doing so in one’s house is an affront to real, honest living. One might, say, take a bottle of champagne with one to one’s home, drink the entire thing, call a delivery boy, have two more bottles of champagne delivered, drink half of the next bottle, turn on the radio, find a song one likes, and dance without embarrassment—and, it is important to point out, without an audience—to said song, maybe also belting out the lyrics to the song (if the song is one of those songs that has singing in it) while holding the half-empty bottle of champagne in one’s hand, and swaying it furiously without ever spilling a drop. One might, say, when one’s water has broken and one’s contractions are spaced close together, go to one’s home to deliver one’s baby in one’s clawfoot tub under the supervision of a professional midwife—or, if one is really trying to live, one might do so under no professional medical supervision at all, and one might cut one’s umbilical cord from one’s baby with one’s incisors!



MATTHEW SIMMONS is the author of A Jello Horse (Publishing Genius Press). He maintains a blog called The Man Who Couldn't Blog. He lives in Seattle with his cat, Emmett.

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