Friday, January 9, 2009

I feel like the mess of the new house, completely un-unpacked with warped floors. Sometimes the harshly misaligned door frames and dips and crests of deep, blue carpet make that place feel disorienting, like living inside a fun house. I, too, appear normal from the curb and unaffected by shifting and compacting ground. But on the inside, my mind must be reshaping with these changes, buckling and bending like the old hard wood in the dining room.

Next week I'll get to the unlabeled boxes scattered among the cavities of my house, slice through the packing tape that was found only in time to seal some. And maybe I'll measure the windows, finally, to hang curtains instead of fitted sheets from finishing nails hammered into old plaster with the heel of a patten flat. I'll move furniture into sensible groupings where they aid in the fluid movement of my traffic patterns [only], and I will stack my books against each other, cozy in the arms of bookshelves, plates in kitschy strawberry cabinets. All the while, the floors will flex and sag still, like they have for years and years and years, and my heart will ache like the contoured bones of my house the first time the earth settled beneath its foundation.

The good news is that it still stands. While its doors have been shaved into angled forms and most of my furniture is poised on three legs, there is still a house that has seen the whole world evolve into something quite different than it was. I don't feel nearly as strong as the boards that built it or the hard plaster that encased it, though. I don't feel as strong as everyone tells me I have to be. I don't feel strong at all, really.

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