Going Nowhere

People keep asking me where I am going to live when my father has passed on, and I don’t have an answer. I have dreams, most of which are impossible considering my lack of funds and/or outdoor experience, but beyond that, I really don’t know. I’d like to continue taking dance lessons at a small nearby studio, which seems odd to me because until a year ago, I had no interest in dance whatsoever. The trouble is, I don’t particularly want to live here in this desert town. I don’t particularly what to live anywhere, if the truth be told.

I suppose where I really want to live is nowhere.

Jan Morris in Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere writes:

“There are people everywhere who form a Fourth World, a diaspora of their own. They come in all colours. They can be Christians or Hindus or Muslims or Jews or pagans or atheists. They can be young or old, men or women, soldiers or pacifists, rich or poor. They may be patriots, but they are never chauvinistic. They share with each other, across all the nations, common values of humour and understanding. When you are among them you know you will not be mocked or resented, because they will not care about your race, your faith, your sex or your nationality, and they suffer fools if not gladly, at least sympathetically. They laugh easily. They are easily grateful. They are not inhibited by fashion, public opinion or political correctness. They are exiles in their own communities, because they are always in a minority, but they form a mighty nation, if only they knew it. It is the nation of nowhere.”

In the Introduction to Tales From Nowhere, Don George talks about nowhere having a quality of disorientness. “For a moment you lose your bearings, there are no coordinates, all sense of familiarity is gone.”

I suppose it’s just as well I want to live Nowhere. When I leave here, no matter where I go or what I do, I will have lost all bearings. My home died with my life mate/soul mate, and though I would go back to him in a moment, that home is four years gone. Where I am living now is no home for me — I am caring for my very weak and declining but still testy father, and I am doing the best I can for my mentally unstable brother. And this is my father’s house. Not home at all. But it is a home base.

And when I have to leave this house?

I’ll be going nowhere.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “Going Nowhere”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    If nowhere takes you in and around Ohio, let me know. I’ll buy you lunch and give you the grand tour of Ohio State University.

  2. beccaswope Says:

    Pat, you’re making me a little nervous right now. Are you talking about Nowhere as a genotype, or something more sinister? I worry sometimes about you, my friend.

  3. mickeyhoffman Says:

    Most of it’s gonna be in your head. Sounds like a Jefferson Airplane song…. Anyway, for example, although I’ve been on the west coast now for decades, I still don’t feel quite at home. Maybe because the ocean is on the “wrong” side. When I was living in LA, I used to get mixed up when people told me to head toward the water; I would go east instead of west. There seem to be some things that stick in one’s head to signify one’s roots and it doesn’t even have to be a place you already lived for a long time, or even lived there at all. When you get there, you will know it. That is how I feel about New York city now.

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