(This picture was taken on the first official night we’d be sleeping in the house as the official occupants for time to come. The only humans who actually live in the house are myself, Rianna, Nick as well as my Nana and Paige, who are not pictured.)
The house that I live in now, aged 20 years old, is the same house my mother was raised in. (There’s a whole convoluted explanation as to why but that’s a story for another day.) The very house she was born into, the baby of a five children household to my Nana and Papa, and lived in until she was 19. A house my Nana and Papa bought 58 years ago in 1960. November 23, 1960 to be exact. (For the staggering low price of 19,000 dollars, which is a sad detail to recognize today. Am I right, ladies??) Why does anyone care about details such as these, you ask? Because this house has a life of it’s own in the history of it all. A history that I am aware of and often think about throughout the day, comparing the past to what is happening in the present.
You know what I’m talking about it? No, no, I didn’t think you would. You see, my brain constantly flashes to the past despite the fact I obviously have no knowledge about it. Well, actually, I have some basic understanding of the past lives that have lived in the rooms I now call my own, but they’re mere stories of actual events. And like any knowledgeable person I know the stories do not contain all that happened in the actual moment. But, that is neither here nor there. (I’m constantly talking myself into a state of oblivion so I do apologize if I’ve lost you.) What I am trying to get at here is living in a house that has a history close to me allows my mind to dissect the time in between. As if the moment I am experiencing now is in some way related to something my mother or aunts/uncles/Nana or Papa experienced in the house. Before I lose you all together, and perhaps your confidence in my mental stability, allow me to explain myself further.
So, what I am trying to get at here is that since I live in a home where I am aware of what life has been breathed into it prior to me, my brain often compares what I live now with what my family lived then. I think about the rooms I live in as a picture without context and create a story for it with the past. I can only work with what stories my mother and papa told and photographs to field these thoughts of mine. But they are grounding, for sure. I’ll just be laying in bed looking at the same walls my mother looked at some 30 years ago and sometimes that thought or moment overcomes me and I recognize the time in between. Like when I sit in the living room watching a movie, I reflect on an instant in which someone years before me experienced this very thing in an extremely different environment. It could’ve perhaps been my mother sitting alone watching a re-run of some old movie as my Nana and Papa slept upstairs. Maybe my Nana was sitting on her perfectly clean couch, that at one point had plastic wrapping on it for extra protection from existing, looking at a small, square black and white tv. Or, take for instance, me sitting downstairs in the basement listening to music on either my record player or bluetooth speaker (because I am all about freedom to choose, friends) and I think that 40 or more years ago my uncles and aunt were throwing parties in the very room I’m in. I sit alone, minding my own damn business, knowing full well my mother once snorted a line of cocaine off of a mirror I still have hanging above the bar. It is just wild.
Even an act as simple as eating dinner in the dining room, my mind still contemplates the complexity of time. Because its true that a random number of years ago, my mother was perhaps doing the same exact thing. Granted, she’d be at the dining room table with my Uncle Jim, Tim and Ikey as well as my Aunt Mary Beth. Only they wouldn’t be the same people I know today. For one, they’d be a hell of a lot younger but they’d also be naive, childish and untouched by many truths of the world. Not unlike myself now. The dining room would not be painted the purple-ish color we have it now and the walls would be adorned with different things. My Nana and Papa would be sat at their respective spots in the kitchen, prepared to scold the kids if they act out, which they usually did. And I doubt any of them then would be thinking that the house in which they grew up in would have new life growing inside it so many years layer. Hell, I doubt they think about it now but it absolutely floors me.
Life resides in this house whether or not someone is there. 58 years of living, breathing, and existing is embedded in this house. The layout and details of it all have changed over time, but it’s all the same thing. Human beings living, being home and simply going about life as they’re supposed to. I do this with things more vague too, like going to a mall in 2018 is vastly different from going to the mall in 1980. Or the movies, or out to eat, hell, driving a car is different today. But my mind likes to dissect things like this. And, see, if I don’t let these thoughts leave me then I am sure I’ll be driven mad, which is why I force you people to read this. In hopes that maybe I am not alone in these thoughts, though I know I am, but also that maybe you’re interested enough to read till the end. Who knows if I have succeeded.
Well, enough from me today, friends. Till next time.