As he sits in the arts building at Choate Rosemary Hall, Derek Ng paints a landscape of a city. A city of eight-thousand skyscrapers; a city of 7.3 million people; a city of family, culture, and innovation. He reflects on his life at home in Hong Kong and his life at home in Connecticut. And New Jersey. And wherever he goes.
Because, for the average sixteen-year-old, home is one place. But for Derek, home exists where he exists.
Home exists in the States where he was born.
Home exists in Hong Kong, where his parents raised him and his twelve-year old brother.
It exists around the dimly-lit kitchen table which listens to the late night talks between Derek and Mom about boarding school in America and journeys 7,937 miles away.
It exists on charcoal-colored pavement stained with salty tear drops from goodbyes and see-you-laters.
Home exists in the window seat of the Boeing 747 that protected a twelve-year-old student who looked back at his home as it shrunk beneath him.
Home exists on a piece of paper above his desk which reads, “You never know where you will find love. Even on a crowded airplane or a cruise ship.”
Home exists at gate A14 in Amsterdam Airport where the backs of heads watch a lost Derek seeking his way, parentless, confused.
Home exists in the forty-five minute drive through city, suburbs, and secluded towns in the back of a black 2011 Lincoln Town Car to get to another home.
Home exists in the ten-by-fourteen dorm room plastered with Lumineers album covers and classic hollywood movie posters.
Home exists on a map, where strings pin to Derek’s homes and twirl and twist around each other, through oceans and over seas and around mountain ranges, on top of cities and through tunnels and across bridges.
And they all meet here.