21 December 2007

Let Us Now Raise Blameless Men

It's a peculiar migration, heading back-in-time for the winter. Your parents pick you up at the airport and drive you home, as if it were from the mall or the movies.

There should be a genealogical-archaeological art project in which there are a series of snapshots of this particular lot of East Main Street over the years. It could be called "Life Goes On (in the Suburbs)"

Back from my first year of college (Train from NYC to New Haven) - Burger King
I was in San Francisco (man that went by fast) - Video Store
Now I live in Boston (Peter Pan Bus to Hartford) - Chinese Buffet
Thousands of miles away (older) - Walgreen's

We can think about how landscapes beget mindscapes, we can think about hills and mountains vs. the great wide open. My dad tells me that those are "basalt" mountains and that's pretty unique to this area due to some ice age event. He tells me he considered studying geology. I didn't know that, I don't think.

We can consider our parents' bodies to be our first houses. [Imagine you have that kind of speech problem where your R's become W's. Now say "I really miss my old room."]

We can consider our parents' houses.

DEN: Newsweek's Wonders of the World Coffee Table Books, "I Loved You Before You Were Born," "Aushwitz," Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, Illustrated Guide to Shrubs and Trees, Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary (2 copies), H.W. Janson's History of Art, "Saturday Shrines - College Football's Most Hallowed Grounds," "Tuesdays with Morrie," "Kiterunner, "Who Moved My Cheese," The Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, Here Grisham, There Steele, and books I bought them for Christmas.

KITCHEN: Shiny new hardwood but the same yellowtile countertop when we moved in 1984.

OFFICE: Used to be my bedroom.

BATHROOM: Still the best shower water pressure I've ever felt.

There are "figures" everywhere, throughout. These bears in various kinds of dress, seasonal? period? on beds, chairs, stairs, stands ... and where there is no furniture to hold them, furniture has been built to hold them. Little shelves that jut from the wall. There are snowmen too, and Santas. Those ones that are behind glass, white children sleeping or praying, I think they're porcelain. And my least favorite of all - the "Time Out" doll that leans against the railing with her arms over what would be her face if she had one.

We are the new ghosts of ourselves in these houses, recarpeted, rewallpapered.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I am home for the holidays, and also not. The phenomenon of in-laws is interesting and ambiguous that way. I wasn't a child here, there are no memories embedded into the walls that extend further back than a few years, and there is no space that used to be mine that isn't anymore. Or vice versa: we're sleeping in the living room.

But I'm with family. We've been laughing nonstop for a couple of days now (where else is there a collection of folk who are so comfortably sarcastic and incessantly chain-yankers?) There's a routine we happily do, somehow excited to be getting up hours earlier than normal. And there are shiny, prettily wrapped presents that are taking over a large portion of the den just taunting me. Oh, and we went to a chinese buffet last night.