High school is over and I’m home to be creative. I’m supposed to be writing, and I know I should be, but my thoughts wander in the empty house.

My dad has his first out-of-home 9 to 5 in years; my brother and mom stuck in the institution I’ve cleverly evaded. It’s odd to be here by myself. I’m not scared or lonely, but I don’t feel as free as I should.

I can remember the time an empty house was exciting: an invitation to smoke tea from a bag or consider the idea of a boy laying in my bed. I used to mark my calendar for when my parents would leave, begging my brother to go see a movie or sleep at a friend’s house. I was suffocated, between a stay-at-home dad, and mom I followed to work.

I found other avenues of freedom. First it was the Internet, and then walking aimlessly around town, and then aimlessly wandering the city. Eventually it became getting “lost” with Google Maps and a permit.

My freedom becomes less illusionary by the day. I’ve been freed from school, from asking permission, from childhood, and best—my family. Little choices, like what to eat for dinner, or how to spend my day, are mine now.

And so I’ve decided to walk around pant-less and sing very loud. ♦