They say they understand . . . but do they? They all say they do, but do they really, truly understand? Do they truly understand that profound happiness long ago extinct from my life? That the smile that spreads across my face is a mask? That the makeup I wear is a way to pretend like I'm taking care of my personal beauty and hygiene, when I have lost the energy for anything regarding either? My smile shies away, and it only comes once in a while. It comes and goes like a car going at full speed; first you see it, and in an instance, it's gone. I blink, and the smile dramatically transforms into a frown. A frown that represents all that's wrong with society, misunderstanding parents, judgmental people. In my eyes, you can see the misery and lack of hope that lies within. And yet, I know, deep within my heart, that someday, I'll be home. I have a hard time swallowing, because the very thought that makes me tense is the very thought that lingers and spreads throughout my head . . . the very thought that tortures me and haunts me during daylight hours, and don't even get me started at night. It is also the very thought that gives me motivation to live -- just not in the moment. And to think that they expected to understand such a complex obsession. A deep, rich obsession which has the power to control every decision I make, every step I take, every breath. So I look at those people with eyes wide and blink-free, looking bored and annoyed for having heard the same thing all over again, time after time of experiencing the same conversation, like a broken record machine. It's a cliché line used to sound sympathetic. Meet New York City . . . oh, wait, I'm sure you already have. And that takes me to my final point. New York City is my home. I share a deep, bonding connection with it. It is the key to happiness for me and without it I'm alive but not living. I feel complete when I'm there. No, in this lifetime, I never lived there, but perhaps in another I might have. Wait, I must have! It is everywhere: every time I see trees, I'm reminded of Central Park; every time I see stores, Fifth Avenue; every time I see taxis, the entire City; and so forth. I am living a lie -- one that no one understands the truth behind. I don't know why, but I feel like I've seen it all before, and I'm not one to judge poorly upon the idea of reincarnation. The atmosphere; the people; the ambition; the lights . . . everything! It is on my mind every second of the day. New York City . . . I'm aware that bad things would start to arise there, too, as obstacles and challenges are unavoidable in life, but the problems are well-worth facing there. I would even be willing to settle for simply driving distance. We're told we'll all have a happy ending, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Well, here's to hoping: someday, maybe, if God allows me to, of course . . . I'll be home.