I've lived in the same house since October, 10, 1997. My first birthday. So I would have lived in this house for 15 years in 3 days. We live in the middle of the street. Its the two story house with the ivy all over the gate. Completely consuming my mailbox. It is the second trashiest house on the street. Apart from the neighbors with the two young children who live in what I'm certain is a dealers house. The yard is always filled with various things. Boxes of peoples things that were left from when they lived with us, broken cars and boats. The yard is never green in the summer. And the driveway has a pothole. When it rains half of it turns from a place to park your car into somewhere you would think fish would swim. The yard, though filled with crap is the houses best feature. One acre, completely fenced in. On one side a wooden gate, on one side a metal one. The very back to grown over by black berries for anyone to remember what was there. It used to be a place where we would play all day. Pretending we were survivors of a plane crash and the yard was our island. I could be anything I wanted there from sunup to sundown and all through the night if I lit up some firewood in the pit. That was before we all deemed it necessary to grow up though. Now its just a cool place for parties and the tall climbing trees are a good place not to get caught kissing boys or loading up a bowl before walking to the movies. Its the place everyone goes when they wanted to stay out late but couldn't without a place to sleep. Or when their parents had too much to drink. It was home. The house is cold year round. In the summer we barely need an air conditioner. And in the winter we start fires in the wood stove. Everyone's job is to make sure we never run out of wood because an hour without the fire the house turns cold like when you’re in a hot tub outside and have to make the run from the tub to indoors. Every morning you can see your breath. But there are always plenty of blankets and sweatshirts. Ones that fit you a little too big but its nice because then the sleeves come over your icy fingertips. My mom always has the house cold. For the most part coming home from school means coming home to a cold dark house. In those times it doesn't feel like a home. Just a place where all my stuff is for the time being. But when anyone has been up and around all day, the house is perfect. It will be lit with 4 different lamps and the radio blasting to our favorite out of date music. Warm but not a suffocating warm; a real warm. From a real crackling fire. The smell of brownies cooking in the oven or soup on the stove. Enough for everyone that stops by or needs a place to stay. Its the house everyone goes, when their home doesn't do it.
When Home Doesn't Do It
December 9, 2012