Home, it’s an old two story farmhouse in the country with single pane windows and hardwood floors. There are as many drafts as there are spiders, and neither is under control. Winters are cold in northern Indiana, and even colder in this house with just a few baseboard heaters and a wood burning stove that mostly smokes and sparks. The summers are hot here, but we don’t mind. We’re never inside from May until September, anyways.
There is a wooden banister that leads up the stairs, worn as smooth as silk from the oil of so many hands using it. No matter how hot the summer sun heats up the house, the banister is always cool to the touch. I put my check on it some days in August when all the windows are open and the air still doesn’t move to cool down a degree.
My room is at the top of the stairs to the right. There are gnaw-marks on the corner of the door from a time when chicks were kept in an incubator and a fox tried to chew his way in one night. How did the fox get in and what happens to the chicks? It doesn’t matter, it’s my chicken-free room now.
It’s a sanctuary. There’s a big square of pink carpet salvaged from my grandparents’ home which makes the wooden floor more bearable during the cold months. My twin bed is in the corner, between two windows. I’m always planning on how to escape through these windows, just in case things get really bad. I’ll tie all my sheets together like a rope ladder and throw it out the window. Then I worry if my knots will hold and decide the best course of action is to jump out and hope to land on the bush under the window. The last wall is all shelves for my books and trinkets. There are many secrets hidden between the knickknacks and tucked into the pages of the books, like my plans for escape.
Actually, now it’s a place that doesn’t exist any further than my own mind. It’s just another place in the past that can never be revisited, a sobering reminder of the passage of time. Yet, it’s funny in a way that makes me reflect more than laugh how its memory still haunts my present, so real and clear, and so impossibly gone at the same time.