An Unfinished Life

I drove out to the county to the house where all my nightmares take place, under gray skies.

It's been like that five days a week. Great grey sheets covering everything like the furniture in a dead man's house.

My sister called me Wednesday before the day I drove to a dead man's house and she was angry. She was angry because I was not coming to the house that she lives and making things happen. Like cleaning, like fixing things. Doing all the things that I do in my own apartment. Doing all things I mostly hadn't been able to do this past semester. But I had to drop everything and do for her what she should be doing for herself.

She had got a new roommate and they had been cleaning. Like you're supposed to do. The house was ashambles. As though it weren't depressing enough that both our parents died there, it was filthy. Grime on everything. All the random things my father refused to throw away, piled high in the garage.

Books that never got read. Broken things that never got fixed. Cinder blocks that never got used to lay a foundation. Jerry rigged everything. Four chainsaws, three of them broken. Axe handles held together with duct tape. Extension chords that had been chopped to pieces after being run over by a lawn mower, rebuilt with solder and more duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape. Everything used. Everything old.

Everything in that house is broken. I cannot go there without memories haunting me like song lyrics. Without wondering what could have been.

That's it. And that's all. An unfinished life. Like mine. And yet I live. And I have so much work to do.

Miles to go.

Before I sleep.

I try to be happy. I try to think about the future.

Sometimes, it's difficult. For a long time, I've only been sure of death. Not of success. Not of a better tomorrow. Just death. Living in that house taught me entropy. Everything wears away. Breaks. Dies.

That's all I've ever been sure of.

When my father died, the question I got the most was why I was so calm. For the most part very few people saw me respond with anything other than calm acceptance. Dad gave up on life a long time ago. I didn't. I haven't. But it's difficult. I'm not suicidal, but there has been a near constant sadness that weighs in on everything. It's been a constant companion and I'm starting to notice that I'm finding happiness to be unnatural.

1 comment:

Becky said...

This is beautiful. Slightly haunting, but in the best way.