Sunday, August 26, 2007

To whom it may concern

I used to live in a house with no doors.

Well, to be more specific, I lived in a house with no bedroom doors. There was a bathroom door, a basement door, and deadbolt-encrusted front and back doors, but absolutely nothing separated the inner santum of our bedrooms from the raucous free-for-all of the upstairs hallway.

At first I HATED it. Where was the privacy? What was there to slam when I was mad at my sister or my mom? After a while, though, it wasn't bad - it just was. I forgot that it was an oddity and accepted it as normal. At night, if the three of us were going to bed at the same time, we'd lay in our respective beds and chat with each other about the books we were reading or the crappy days we had.

My sister scared the hell out of me countless times with her habit of talking loudly in her sleep. One time I was being so quiet because everyone else was sleeping, and, as I snuck by my sister's room, she shouted, "JUST GO TO HELL!" and then continued snoring. Almost made me fall backwards down the stairs.

Not only did I grow used to this flaw with the house, but I grew to love it, just as I grew to love all the other quirks and flaws. See that red stain on the ceiling? That's from my birthday when the wine-opener broke and we were forced to push the cork down into the wine bottle. My sister wasn't aware of the geyser effect that occurs when this is attempted with too much gusto. Notice how the second-from-bottom stair creaks loudly? That was the one to avoid when you had to sneak upstairs past curfew. Yes, the basement is gross and creepy, but it comes in handy when you want to freak out your friends. And yeah, the yard is full of tree roots and weeds - that just means we can play badminton in the yard without being told we're wrecking the grass.

Growing up, this was the one house I really felt at home in. I had always had a tenuous relationship with the notion of "place," due to the many moves we went through. By the time I entered university, I had lived in 6 houses, 1 apartment, and 1 condo in 5 different cities or towns. The longest I had ever stayed in one place was 5 years. The shortest was 1 month. But my mom stayed in the doorless house (both with and then without my sister and me) for 13 years. That's 13 Christmases-worth of memories. 13 birthdays, countless dinner parties, a scary break-in, and the lifespan of our family cat.

Now she's selling the house and I can't really think about it for too long because otherwise I start crying. I know it's irrational and silly, and that there will be fantastic times to be had in her new place, but I can't help it.

If you happen to buy the house with no doors, keep it that way, okay? And say hi for me.

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