On the night I found myself in the arms of a housemates’ home bar, it had all the trappings of a home.
It was clean and spacious, with a kitchen, living room and dining room that I’d never seen before.
There was no air-conditioning, no air conditioning washers and dryers.
The bar was packed with friends, all wearing black and white t-shirts, black jeans and hoodies, their faces pressed into a mask of unblemished skin.
I felt at home.
For the most part, the housemates seemed to be there for each other.
Their shared love for music, cinema and art, and the fact that their home was in the same city as each other, meant there was no reason for me to feel alone.
But my own experience with home bars wasn’t a happy one.
“There are a lot of different housemates and it’s just hard to find one that suits you,” I said to the housemate next to me.
She smiled and said, “It depends.
Some people are nice, and others are a little bit weird.”
And so, the friendship began.
We would spend the evening sitting on the sofa, playing with our phones or listening to music.
“You know when you meet someone and you think, ‘This is weird’?
It’s just the feeling you get when you get to know someone,” she said.
And that feeling is one I will never forget.
Home bars are an essential part of the modern house.
There are no rules when it comes to home bars.
It can be a place for friends to relax and chat, or it can be the centre of an intimate, personal conversation.
It’s an escape for us all.
“I don’t really want to go to home bar anymore,” I told my housemate, who laughed.
“But you’re right, it is so hard to go somewhere like this without people.”
I’ve always felt homes like this were for me.
For so long, I’ve felt homes where I felt completely alone.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt a home more like home.
When I’m not with my friends, I am with my home.
I can feel my housemates, the people who love me, and I can hear them laugh and sing.
“It’s kind of hard to describe,” I added.
“When I’m home, I feel safe.”
When I say “safe”, I mean it.
I feel at home in a way that my friends and I do not.
When my home bar was empty, my friends went to sleep and I went to bed.
I was able to make friends at home, because I had someone to talk to and someone to listen to.
“My home is like a house,” my house mate said.
“Even when I’m on the road, my house is always here.”
I remember my house in Melbourne when I was in school.
I remember the night that I fell asleep at home and woke up on the couch, covered in blankets.
I had been home for the past two days.
I didn’t feel like I was alone.
When the next day came, my parents brought me to the bus stop to go home.
“Go home, baby,” my mum said.
My mother was the only one who spoke up for me, as she had been with me for the whole day.
I hugged my mum and cried.
“No, no, I’m fine,” I replied.
“Oh, come on, come home.
You’ve just got to go back to school.”
After that night, I felt like I’d always known home.
My mum and I spent days together, playing pool or watching TV together.
It wasn’t long before we’d moved in together.
I still remember waking up and seeing my mother on the phone.
“Hello, I have to say goodbye,” she told me.
I knew I wasn’t alone anymore.
I went back to my parents the following morning, and they took me to see my mum.
I wasn’ t surprised.
“Your home is a big part of your life now,” my dad said.
My mum was the first to say something.
“Yeah, but what do you want me to do?”
My parents asked me, “How would you like to go on a date?”
“No,” I lied.
“We would like to be in a house together.”
When my parents saw the date on TV, they were so excited that I got the dates right.
“Well, that was so great!”
I said, shaking my head.
“Let’s go out for dinner!”
“You know what would be amazing?” my parents asked.
“That’s right,” I responded.
“A home bar.”
My parents were so proud.
“Now, come with me!”
My dad took me on a shopping trip