Sunday, October 30, 2011
the red brick house and I meet again
I recently went to a high school reunion on Long Island.Since we had allowed plenty of time,we drove to my old neighborhood.My heart always beats a bit faster as I see the familiar;Bedford Ave.,California Ave., and finally Webster St.
The house which was built in the early forties sits on the corner.We pulled up and I felt no terror and a small smile crept onto my face.Home.It looks better then it ever did, this small red-brick cape with two white trimmed dormers,a garage and a small side patio that was never used.The front door that had been dark oak and had a myriad of scratches from dogs trying to get out, is now a smooth light brown.
The purple scented lilacs are gone as are the salmon, red and pink azaleas but that's O.K. because the house seems more open,available.A stone path snakes up to the front door and over that is the dormer window to the cloister that was my haven for twenty three years.In that room,my friend Bobby used to sit with me while I did my homework.His house across the street was enveloped in the gloom of a dying parent.It was his haven too, although he may not have realized it at the time.Holy space.
The wonderful, enormous maples that guarded the house were removed several years ago as the roots kept lifting the sidewalk.I took pleasure in seeing that the new growing oaks are doing the same thing.
I wonder about this house,how I would feel about it if I wasn't content with my life.Would I blame the past,the fights,shame and despair that hung between its walls?In that dormer, a thin auburn haired girl who loved to sing decided that her life would be a different one than the ones being lived downstairs and so it is.