[Throwback Thursday — this post was originally published on February 25th, 2013]
There’s a little red house on a little side street in a little quaint town not far from here.
The road can be dangerous, it swerves and curves and loops in the short mile or two of asphalt it occupies, and drivers disobey the 25MPH sign whispering to them and instead listen to their car’s, or maybe their heart’s, desperate screaming to take a chance.
Not many people go down to this area; on the outskirts of town, not many people even know it exists. But we do. Drive down the highway, pass the Jesus sign, right at the junkyard.
Those were once the directions to my soul. Now they’re a path to what once was, a path to somewhere I can’t seem to find.
This house has a large backyard with enormous trees towering over it as if they are protecting the land from all of the evil in the world. The yard ends at a small, powerful river. Consisting of snakes, pebbles, and muck, this river seems to have a healing property; people tell it their secrets, pour out their pain, admit their love, and the river takes it all, swallows it up to bear the burden too immense for any one person.
If you walk up the jagged walkway and into the little red house, you will know it cannot possibly be just another house.
This house is broken. This house has been torn to shreds, from, at one time long ago, a normal family turned not-so-normal, followed by numerous animals, endless parties, and us, searching, grasping for love, but finding an imposter.
The floor is worn and stained, the hardwood scratched and dull; the carpet torn to shreds. The shower curtain is askew, cleaning products are scattered about from a hasty, unsuccessful attempt to scrub the home back to before. There is writing on the walls, lists of old friends and old boyfriends and old teams waiting to play beer pong; love letters and hate mail immortalized, if only for a moment.
Upstairs is where we lived.
The bed is still there, covered in cat hair and dog slobber, and evidence of sexual encounters. Most everything else has been taken, ripped out, gutted for the sake of, who knows. But you can still feel it: us searching for something, for each other. Loving so hard yet just unable to get through the wall. And if you look to your left, there it is. The wall. A safe full of needles and cotton and spoons and hate.
I’ve thought about going back, throwing the hate away and salvaging the want, the need, the try.
But I can’t seem to find this house. I can drive there, but it’s not the home I once remembered. All that’s left is a life that once was, never will be again. And if that life was horrible, or wonderful; the best days or the worst; true love or a deception, well, I guess that’s
all up to you.