Saturday, January 24, 2009

When a House Is a Home

I took the little woman to my small hometown to find the first house in which I lived as an infant and young child. The house was still standing, though abandoned and delapidated. It was watched over by the neighbor, Floyd. Floyd was still alive, still occupying the same house as he did when I was a child; he had been living as an adult with his mother, and she died a few years ago. He was a few years older than my brother and I, and as a youngster Floyd was rolly polly and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. He gained fame on the block when he returned home from grade school one afternoon when his mother had a few of the neighborhood ladies in their house for coffee. Running to the kitchen for a snack upon entering their house, Floyd was heard to shout angrily, "What, only thirteen bisquits and a gallon of milk?"

So old Floyd showed my crumbling house to me and Jonka. Such a melancholic experience viewing the rooms in which I used to live. They seemed, of course, much smaller than when I was an infant, and they were jammed with old lumber and boxes of junk. Such sadness overcame me; I could only think of Tom Waits' hauntingly sad song, "House Where Nobody Lives." So long ago.

Then bumbling Floyd invited Jonka and me to his house for---why not?---hot bisquits and milk.

-Old Gargoyle

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