Friday, August 10, 2007

Free Write From Retreat

Back dated to when it was written. Sorry, I've been negligent in posting.

The house should be creepy to me. Well, it kinda is anyway. The stones holding in the yard are old, beginning to crumble. The stone steps don't lead to the front door. Instead they leave you facing a part of the side porch enclosed by a banister. I have to navigate the small sidewalk, which is being overtaken by the unkempt yard, duck under low-hanging trees to get to the stairs up to the porch. The top step on the porch is rotting away, making the last step rather precarious. A skeleton sits in a rocking chair ten feet to my right on the wrap-around porch, perhaps a Halloween joke left out until the next August? Spiders and their intricate webs have taken over the area between the flannel-shirted skeleton and I.

I knock on the front door but no one answers. The thin pain of glass that makes up the top half of the door makes me nervous. It doesn't seeem like a very secure barrier, a very strong deterant to would-be theifs. Then again, I can clearly see the intricate swords and knives hanging decoratively on the wall opposite the door. Maybe those are the real deterants.
I knock a second and third time before a jovial face appears in the door opposite the front door. Though this is the first time I've seen this face in person, a disjointed film plays in the back of my head, of all the times before I've seen him. I never really believed in past lives. But a movie plays in my mind, centuries spanned in which I've known this same man, seen this same face, in rage, in battle, in tenderness. The door is opened and I am immediately embraced, the prodigal finally coming home. I relax into the bear of an embrace, into this stranger I have known a thousand times before.

The inside of the house is dim, but warm and inviting. Chaoting in the way that only two infants can create. With few words, I am hustled to the shower, already running for me, so that i can wash off the dirt and sweat from my long journey. As he guides me through the house, I can hear her singing in some close room. A melodic soprano voice singing, "Hey, way, I've got a new complaint." It's the sweetest Nirvana cover I've ever heard. She brings me a set of her won clothes to change into after my shower, for we are almost the same size, and a big hug, overjoyed that I am finally here.

Can someplace be home the first time you've been there?

Alone in the shower, cluttered with a million different kinds of shampooes and conditioners and body washes, I can still hear the household running around me. the joyous cries and laughter of the two infants, the constant movement of their parents. The scalding water rinses away all my fears and doubts about coming here as well as the fears that drove me to seek sanctuary with strangers. I am suddenly, strangely, unencumbered.

Once clean and in fresh clothing, I sit with the rest of the pack on their new tan couch. The older of the two children, a usually cautious female cub, takes my hand and asks me to watch cartoons with her. Her mother tries to hide her shock. As three year old humans are known to do, the little girl climbs all over me and the couch, igoring all modesty as her dress shifts, exposing her small body. She is also a never ending stream of questions and comments. Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered the language of three year olds.

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