Friday, November 1, 2013

Birch Court

Recurring dream: I'm in our old house, the one we moved out of 9 years ago. I'm panicked because the new owners have been waiting for us to move our things out. Our stuff and their stuff, miscellany, fills the house. At first they're not home. I start making an inventory and wander through each room. The living room still has our hunter green plaid couch and matching love seat, oak entertainment center, coffee table, computer desk, and kids craft table. A samurai sword collection, not mine, hangs on the wall. The kitchen sink is filled with our dirty dishes. From the deck I look over the backyard and the grass is riddled with dog shit, that we never picked up. The fence I built with my father-in-law is falling apart. Tall weeds choke a rusty swing set. The bunk beds in the girls' room are without bedding but still not moved out. Our dresser sits in the master bedroom, and our clothes hang in the closet. The little bathroom off the master bedroom has our towels hanging on hooks and our toothbrushes standing in a cup by the sink. I walk downstairs and the unfinished basement is still unfinished. Piles of our dirty laundry still wait their turn in our washer and dryer. Clutter, unboxed, spreads from wall to wall. From there I walk into the garage where our bikes and lawn mower and yard tools and cabinets and ladders and tool boxes gather dust. The owners burst through the door and they're not startled to find me there. I look at them and know this isn't my home. It feels weird because in my dream I know 9 years have passed. Why do I return again and again?