The house

They took the house away from us. I was an inkling there. I dragged my doo on the floor there. I sprouted opinions there, grew awkward and greasy-faced, left and came back a psych-majoring, bourbon-swilling, semi-autonomous thing. In the beginning, my dad’s hands and my mom’s hands built it. Their hands and minds then steamed in youth, rigged with hope. Minds scalloped even, perhaps, with bits of love. Then soon after: an unvarying downward trajectory. As if we were characters and plot plucked from those austere, canonical, high school English novels. Dad forking hay bales of bad decisions onto the field of his life. Trying, once or twice, to talk money, to muddle the mirage. Mom finger-plugging ears, self-sequestering in her room, skipping dinner.

So they took the house away from us. They came and they said, This house doesn’t belong to you anymore. Sure, you built it. You raised three kids in it, you had your dogs and your horses and your land and your happy times, but that doesn’t matter now. Shitty things happen, we’re sorry. But we have our jobs to do. Here’s your thirty days.

And they began to take the house away. Its adobe walls began to belong to others. Walls bled desert colors, shed soft deposits of marital antipathy. They hemorrhaged mom’s crazy dog-death scrawls (They are near…who they love…). Terra-cotta floor tiles, sunken from decades of laughter and discord, turned anonymous. The patio, the cacti, the sprawling acreage…everything absorbed by the faceless and nameless. Each childhood memory was leeched, then gone.

They took it away. But first we had to pack up all our stuff. Boxes of very old vitamins, shop tools, unopened DVDs. Conglomerates of ancient computers and Christmas junk. Humidifiers. Grandma’s silverware. Five closets’ worth of clothing. Ten rooms’ worth of furniture. One-gazillion framed photos. We dumped it in storage, we carried it with us. The house stayed there.

I look out now from between the bars of my irrevocable adulthood. I have no choice but to be strong and in control – no choice but to distain those mistakes. But there are nightmares that persist, that curl my whole six-foot-two into fetal shapes. The house haunts my dreams. The house, and how it was taken from us.

~ by kingzoko on April 8, 2014.

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