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Ghosts, Graveyards and Cypress Knees

You Can Never Go Home Again

USA | Tuesday, 23 June 2015 | Views [230]

The explosion of feathers behind the ottoman reminds me that I am in the company of mighty hunters, whose bloodlust can only be sated by the sound of opening a can of tuna - ahi tuna mind you, only the best around these parts.  I myself slurped up a packet of madras lentils, mostly cold with a hot-spot or two left by the finicky microwave and my poor attention span.  I sip my tea - a hippy panacea I am told will restore my throat to a non-swollen state - and watch the vines climbing up the bedroom window.  Placing my palm flat against the glass I wonder if they have the sort of sentience that gives a fuck if I am here.  Perhaps in the life of plants, I am just the parasite that comes in and out of the house they love to climb.

The house itself - not my home, but a home that feels instantly nostalgic when my feet meet its doormat - is small, with a low roof that begs the question why anyone would want to be taller than 5’3”.  The rope lights illuminate the spines of books that serve as walls and dividers of the space, and origami dragons chase butterflies along the rafters.  The steep driveway leads up to the road, but I don’t go there often.  It’s not in my best interest to remember how close this oasis is to the roar of engines and rubber bleeding onto asphalt.  Seattle is an amazing city, but I am not amazed today.  Today I want to sit in the quiet, and hear dragonfly wings and imagine if they breathe sparks; today I want to remember that not all culture is urban, and in my haste to see all of the great cities of the world I have scurried past whole ecosystems and universes in the rural spaces.  Sometimes it is the absence of action that gives space for things that amaze.
When all of this is gone, when the humans have left for faraway planets and a promise of a perpetually expanding universe, will there still be a vanguard of weeds pushing up through the cracks our footsteps left behind?  The cracks in the foundation tremble, and the doors do not close easily against the stilted flooring, but I love each and every groan that the house makes as I walk through it.  It moans to the roof, and I step harder against the squeaky spot in the hallway where the baseboard is slightly more yellow.  I will the house to crumble around me.  I want to be here to see past this, past all this mess that we - humans, collectively - have made; I want to see what grows when we are gone.

Tags: cats, home, house-sitting, nostalgia, pacific northwest, pnw, rural, seattle, urban, washington

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