The ducks, once again, said come home.


The ducks call me on the phone and say they want me home. You haven’t been home for Christmas in 5 years they say, it’s time to come back.

As if it were so easy, as if all it took was a plane ride.

Because the ugly duckling tale is incomplete, sure the swan found other swans and left with them, but you know what? That swan still walked like a duck, talked like a duck, still fell in love with other ducks and most of all still loved the ducks that raised him. They made him feel like a little alien, but they also taught him to ride a bike and to pee in to potty, and to heal his wounds, even if it was the duck way and useless for him, they did their best.

Leaving the ducks broke the swan’s heart, and he had to un-learn and re-learn life all over again.

The ducks of course are unaware of most but still love the swan and call him every year, they say wear a hat if it’s snowing, they say come home for the holidays.

But going back home when you were not happy there is a journey back in 4 dimensions that exhausts you in every way. A journey into distance, time, memories and pain.

The kind of bittersweet delicious pain that only exist in that place where you grew up. Where the things that went wrong and that destroyed you are buried, but also the good things and walking through the streets of your city is like running your hands over your body and you are not sure if you hate that or love that. People ask you to get somewhere and you get to that place the same way you do numbers and letters, without thinking, by the memory of your heart.

And you can’t completely hate a place where you once beat all the little bastards in kinder garden and won the class trophy, even if the kinder garden is now a restaurant, even if you remember none of those kids names.

You think you’ve come so far but your family don’t care, they will always look at you and see the 15 year old plucked duck they have glued to their fridges, and they talk to that duck, and the little duck inside of you wakes up and answers. The untamed wanker.

But this year I did it anyway, this year I went back

They all came to visit, all at the same time, and they yelled, and they wanted to know all, mostly all that went wrong, they love that, they see my happiness outside as a direct threat to their happiness inside, so i help out, I give them shiny souvenirs and bad news.

And they all start telling their duck tales around me, their tales about new furniture, new boob jobs, new diets, wedding pictures, their cute dogs wearing costumes, new babies, new diseases, their plants, they talk about each of their plants, the roses, the forget-me-nots, their sunflowers, they love their plants the ducks.

And they are all so happy, and they really truly are glad to see me and their laughter is so loud it gets the air thick and pregnant and every corner of the house feels full.

I’m right in the middle of their lives and their bodies, I feel their duck hearts beating at the same rhythm, and their laughter wraps itself around me like a coat, and i feel all those bodies sharing my smell and my blood warm up mine.

And still, still i get a terrible urge to cry, because I’ve never felt more far away from them.


14 thoughts on “The ducks, once again, said come home.

  1. So beautiful and heartfelt Lula. Thanks for sharing. I am curious. If you could have it your way, what questions would you want them to ask you? What stories would you like them to tell you? How do you want them to treat you? Is there a way you could feel closer to your family or is it not possible?

    1. Hi! mmm is not that I want them to treat me in an specific way or anything, I only wish they’d try to understand, like i spend hours listening about their bridesmaid dresses when i found the reproductive cycle of fish more interesting, but i do it anyway because i know it means the world to them, maybe they too could try to care about what I’m doing instead of asking me to come home only to give me an intervention about how I’m living in sin and should get married before i embarrass everyone more.

      I’m still too angry to think straight in this one, ask me again in a couple of years.

      1. Haha, I’ll try to remember! 🙂 It sounds like you simply want them to be as accepting of your life and your ways as you are of theirs. It sounds like a very one-sided relationship. Perhaps the more important question is can they ever come to accept you for who you are?

        My father is an alcoholic and until he actually asks for help I realize that there isn’t much I can do. So I just had to accept him for who he is and realize that i was never going to get the really equal relationship that I wanted. Since then it’s been a lot easier to love him and I’ve been happier. Because your description was a really good one and spoke to me…there are all these memories…good ones, bad ones, boring ones…they are the fabric of who you are…and I know I just can’t ever break away from the tangible living proof of those memories. And as I see how much joy is with my dad right now as he holds his grandson, I know I made the right decision keeping him in my life, even though there was a time I thought that would never be the case. I know very little about your situation so I don’t want to say they are analogous in anyway, but I just hope there is a way for you to find some peace with it and still maintain that connection to those memories. Who knows what fruit it might bring in time. 🙂

      2. Glad to hear your dad is still in your lives despite everything. I do want to keep a relationship with them, but maybe in some time when i am emotionally stronger, right now i just don’t feel like is healthy for me.

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