Juxtapositioning

words are foreplay for the soul
October 20th, 2016

Belongingness

On weekends, she wandered across late-80’s on-trend gray-carpeted floors, regarding the mauve sectional they bought after hours of agonizing over seating choices. She walked right through the living room to the front door and peered listlessly out into the blinding-bright Phoenix sun. Then back again, this time through the kitchen with its white tile and whitewashed-mauve cabinets, over to the family room that the house’s one visitor said needed personal touches (tchotchkes, she thought — yuck) and then it would feel like a home.

She wandered because there was nothing else.

No long streams of adding-machine tape to pore over, looking for the one mis-entry that kept everything from adding up. No yellow bags of Lay’s potato chips to pretend into non-existence, to remove any temptations, since she knew that one bite (of anything) was poison and fatness and also a gateway to desperate binging to quell the ever-present inner emptiness she avoided feeling at all costs. No books to read except for the worn copy of Butterfield 8 that arrived in the mail from Chris with a cryptic statement: “she reminds me of you”.

She wandered because she didn’t belong.

Oh, the gray-carpeted floors were hers, as were the mauve sectional and the white metal day bed (with gold finials) in the guest room and the bare tchotchke-free walls and the trendy mauve pleated shades on the windows. It was all hers, technically, since it was her money combined with his that made this Dream House possible.

And yet it wasn’t. Nothing was. Not even herself.

And now, and now, three decades later, the man, the house, is long gone. The wandering starts again. That woman has become this one.

This time the wandering is over Pergo and area rugs, while gazing at multicolored paintings I made myself, looking out onto the wide green world. The details changed but the inner part, the nugget, the kernel of that life-long pain from the long, missed grasp of belongingness, fingertips barely there but slipping off soon after because when you are a person who Doesn’t Belong, there’s really nothing you can do except howl at the pain and injustice of it all.

This time I wander in my mind, my imagination. I pretend I feel connected to this place, this house, but now I wonder whether my lifelong sense of non-belongingness isn’t connected to a place but rather to a person — me.

Maybe I don’t belong anywhere. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s my superpower.

December 2nd, 2008

Home

I have a home again. At least, I left a deposit check and a lot of information about myself, and it’s my hope that it will mean picking up keys in a couple of weeks and then trying valiantly to fill a space that I already know is too big, but what the hell?

Shopping for places to live has consumed me for weeks.  Several times a day I’d comb through the offerings on Craigslist, looking for treasure. The perfect place, summed up in a paragraph and, if I was lucky, a couple of blurry photos. I hunted down property management companies and sifted through their inventory.  I saw, after a few days and certainly after seeing some places (and smelling them) in person, that my price expectations were unrealistic. That, or my taste was too expensive, but at any rate I reconnoitered and moved into a new eschelon. The hunt continued. Relentlessly. Unceasingly.

What I really wanted was to set foot in a place and feel, with all of me, the “this is it!” feeling.

Today I felt that. The place is twice the size I need and half again the price I wanted to pay, but it felt like home. I figure the rest will take care of itself.