Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Home Is Where the Lurking's Done
The nightmare has ended. Four months of paperwork repetition and basking in Kinko's flickering fluorescents by the fax machines and begging my accountant to not lose faith. Signing things I was not quite sure about except that they definitely didn't seem to be calling for the deaths of any agricultural workers in Latin America or the selling of human beings in the Sudan.
Many many nights of lying up late at night with that nagging feeling just around the corner of your mind that there is that one last task you should have attended to that day to keep the ball rolling. But finally, today at about dusk in Federal Hill the shiny silver key became mine after one last bitter drama.
Funny to think back on that first day of looking for a house that fit into the small pocket of affordability and how my friend the real estate man took us to the blue light district where we swung open a door of a still occupied domicile to be met with a wall of human fece smell and a basement of roiling angry dogs.
The next place did not have a wall of merde, but it did have a choo-choo train of a stool draped over the rim of the bathtub. There was also what appeared to be a recent basketball sized hole kicked in one wall and a huge poster of Jason from Friday the 13 facing out the top front window.
There was another place that was a vast maze of a failed plan. Blueprints for what the previous owner had wanted to happen tacked up on a wall, but one room filled to the ceiling with empty dog food bags, another room filled with buckets of keychains and much of the floor of the second floor was missing.
All of this made the house we fell in love with smite us all the harder. I have to admit the smell and the solid wood stairs were what hit me right off. There was actually a good smell. Nothing dead or stale, nothing of the living dead, no composting half-baked schemes.
Now here it is Thursday night, Jan. 14, and we just got back from taking an initial small load of art over there. The first climb of our front porch, the placing of the needlepoint yarn dog art over the radiator by the front door, the first desperate bolt for the upstairs bathroom. We unloaded our canvas bags of Scott Larson's George Jones art piece, our Daniel Higgs painting, , Amanda's portrait of me as Kim Jong Il attached in a Siamese way to Everly as Little Edie Beales, our early Dali print from Gavin the Gelding, Rio's portraits of Max and Peanut. The deeply melancholic Virgin Mary bust was still there on the floor in the middle room as was the most tortured Jesus bust, with blood drops coming from its eyes.
Now that my heart has found a home (figuratively captured by the great book/diorama pictured above that Everly made me for Christmas), there is a physical structure where we will nurture our neuroses, dreams, lusts and submerged goblins. She will stare resentfully at the white hair tufts in my ears. I will wonder if she put that record back in the sleeve. Occasionally on overcast days, just an unanticpated whiff of her scent on a towel will make me weep.
Will there be joyful moments of inviting neighbors in for boiled weenies and Miller lites, giddy late afternoons of vinyl spinning and pain free spanking, croquet games in the backyard as Donovan sings to us from a tree fort in an oak tree, or will there be encroaching alienation, lurkers at the threshold, pizza delivery boys with too much testosterone, roofies and wild hepped up rave music, long haunted gazing from across a half lit living room from the pumpkin colored plaid couch over to the black pleather recliner, the tv showing American Idol barely audible over the rushing traffic and real life gunfire outside?
Who, who is that at the door? Do they realize what's at stake? To stand up from the place where I am now and to break through existing particles of light and to reach out into the unknown and open a door, a door which really couldn't keep out anything that truly wanted to make its way in.
How will I know if their business card is legitimate or whether their moustache is meant to be ironic? Why is there no attic although there is an attic window? What do the neighbors think?
By spring there will be a screened in back porch and the world will look mighty fine from there.