The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



Change. Today someone asked, “You chose to move?” Yes and no. Responsibility. Silent manipulation. A move from my home to an apartment not something I planned or wanted. Not news to those who listened. Torn.

“I do not want this,” I cried. I told it to the dark purplish walls that I immediately hated once dry. I repeated it to the grey walls masking the green beneath in Cary’s childhood bedroom. I repeated it to the stained pale carpet that pleaded for hardwoods. I repeated it to the off-white walls that I ragged a semi-glossy randomness on only to have a friend ask, “What color are you painting the walls?” I sheepishly replied, “They are painted.” I repeated my words to the angled hard cherry wood that I had never wanted to cover every inch of the dry-walled dining room. I repeated it to my kitchen that I had adored. I repeated it to the red grainy walls and slate floor of the back porch turned sun room turned office turned exercise room. I repeated it to the bathroom with the floor from slate that once covered the roof of my childhood home. I repeated the words to the milk-jug plastic wood floor of the semi-wrap-around porch that hosted Jacob’s graduation party and the very last picnic for our daughter and new grandson that Labor Day weekend before Jacob’s arrest. When I am there now on that porch, the arms of the bug-infested monkey couch embraces me. The bugs buzz around my head and tickle my neck. Last Saturday what looked like a flying termite landed on my arm as the hummingbirds drank greedily of the sugar nectar.

The walls and floors do not have ears. The monkeys see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

There’s are ups and downs to paying rent as to owning a home. Now. Call the landlord when the tub doesn’t drain. Call the landlord when the refrigerator has water dripping from the bottom. Call the landlord when the door won’t latch. Call the landlord when the doorknob falls off. There is no yard to mow. There is no yard to play. I shush my grandson when he is crying inconsolably at 4 AM. You’ll wake the neighbors. He doesn’t understand the unspoken quiet hours.

I find myself 20 years too early in the same place as my family members once were. Moving from a certain type of freedom and ownership of your space. My father unhappy with his move from home to a room in a nursing home, albeit a short-lived move. My mother and mother-in-law more accepting of change from their decades-long marital homes where they had spent their last years alone in empty rooms to rooms with companionship and activities and security of care at the end.


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