It’s doubtful that they ever knew how inside of you trickled a tiny stream of phrases promising without delivery an action that never arrived. It’s dubious that they ever imagined that the tiny rivulet would become secret floodwaters within you that one day would drown out all ideas pertaining to them as the surge broke down the wooden posts only half-blocking their phrases from the machines within your head that processed the wood into truth. Little did they all know that within you were compartmentalizations of them that became a burden too heavy to hear by the cabinets inside of you that held their weight. Shocked will they be when the contents fall to the floor and the flood eroded the wooden structure of the homes they built within you with your permission. Fortunate will you be when all that is broken is washed away leaving you with a clean slate to build your own walls.
I almost lost these pages and for a second my heart felt like it would either stop or break through my chest. It’s in these pages that I heal. These are the reminders that the cracks within me are laced with gold like the ancient Japanese custom of taking what has been broken and making it better. In these words exist my soul and maybe they won’t last forever, but they sure do make me feel whole.
I slightly remember the people who used to live in that house. They were an older couple and had faces as kind as could be. Very sweet. One day the government notice came: FORECLOSURE. They couldn’t pay their rent anymore. In Florida we had thousands of homes foreclose in a short span of time. They had made their lives in the one right in front of mine. We were new to the neighborhood still and had bought off our house. The worries that touched them did not touch mine. I went back to school and said goodbye to my parents and brother—my justified sacrifice. The “Florida Winter” had come and gone and I didn’t worry about a dime.
Summer came around and with it came my jolly face ready to bask in sunshine. I did not think of the elder couple that lived in the house in front of mine. When our minivan pulled in, lugging me and my things one of the first sights I had was of that one house. The windows were boarded and it looked unlived in. You’d think it had been a grow house like mine once was. The view was quite desolate and property value fell, but we didn’t really mind for this was our home. My parents told me in low voices that the people had taken the fence that bordered the house; they had shattered the windows. My stepdad lamented all the work they had done on that happy home before it was demanded to give it up.
Shattered windows reflected shattered dreams.
All of those memories were dead now.
I recently moved back in May after finishing the studies that landed me a great job as a teacher. My sacrifice was worth it, is what I would say and I know it to be true to this day. My home is joyous, I’m making new memories and for some reason today I remember the elderly couple. Since moving right back, I’ve realized something. This home once belonged to someone, was destroyed, and has been recently purchased. There hasn’t been a single day in which I haven’t seen work done on that house. A group of men work day and night, sweating, losing weight, cursing, and laughing to create a beautiful abode. For some reason it reminds me of the beach—it’s a very light pastel blue. There are new windows in place, bordered with beige concrete in such a pleasant way. It’s almost as if it is accentuating the fact that the windows were once never there. They’ve made a little gazebo towards the back of the house and I frequently see my new neighbors sitting there and having a drink. There are at least three cars there daily, ready with bodies prepared for hard work. They sweat under the sun with their long sleeved shirts. One paints the house, the other mows the grass, the other works on the hinges and stuff like that.
I don’t quite know them and I know not if they’re kind. I just hope that their home can pass the test of time.
I can see their dreams pouring from their eyes.