A move isn’t real until I carry dad’s violin to a new place with me. It has always, always been the last thing to go: it can’t be mailed, shipped, or packed. It’s the one object I own that I would think twice before entrusting a friend to carry. Letting movers have it is out of the question. So it’s traveled in my hands to every one of the last I-forget-how-many homes I’ve had.

Seven years ago, I carried it on an amtrak train down to New York from Boston. Six years before that, it travelled with me in Andrew Boyd’s VW microbus from Great Barrington to Boston. More recently, I carried it along the F and A trains from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

It sat on my lap in the car to JFK on Sunday. I fretted as it went through the X-Ray machine, and then every time the plane hit a bump in the air. I clutched it nervously while hauling the rest of my luggage to the shuttle pickup at Oakland airport. It’s sitting at my feet now, here in San Francisco.

I guess this must be home.

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