Welcome to my house. This house and I are connected. This is not only where I live but also where my mind dwells. My mind is on the walls for only me to see. I sit in the room and stare at my thoughts as they surround me. My mind is full of problems on these walls. But I don’t fix the problems; I just re-paint them and they go away. But they shine through, always showing through the paint. The paint does help, but it does not fix anything except for the color every once in a while. The holes are not new. The dents are never filled. The problem with these walls is I do not know how to fix them. But I know how to paint over them. The could pass for good as new. But I see the holes. I see the holes. They cannot hide from my trained eye. I see them in a heartbeat. I count them and I know where they are. They haunt me. They kill me from the inside out.
I know how to paint, just not how to spackle. I am unable to tear the walls down and make them anew. Therefore, they just stay there and haunt me. The worst room is the one in the attic. That is where most of me lives. My thoughts hide in the attic. The room is small and dented but painted a bright blinding white. I never go up there. Those thoughts are just too real. The attic is my shell, white and haunting. But I lied I go up there all the time. I just do not like admitting that I spend time up there. The attic seems like a bad place to be. It is lonely; I am the only one allowed in there. The thoughts that live in the attic are the thoughts in my mind. Since this house is me the thoughts are mine. The white walls of the attic are soaked in pain. Agony lives in the brushstrokes. Silent suffering happens in the attic. The walls blame me for everything. The brushstrokes of the paint point at me. The dents call my name and say that they are my fault.
I would rather go to the grimy and dirty unfinished basement. Because one would expect the basement to be unkempt but the attic is shocking. The house is falling apart. I let it go this far and now it is just awful. The wood finish is chipped and cracked. The carpet is stained to a permeant brown. The furniture is broken for the most part. The floor is coated with an impressive layer of filth. Hopping over the problems I do not want to deal with as I move throughout the God forsaken house. This place is horrible and I hate it. I want it to die. The problem with the house is that it is me. If it dies then I die. This is my house where my thoughts live. This place is connected to me and me to it. With that said I still want it to die. The lighter feels good in my hands when the righteous flame dances in delight. The flame is hungry for fuel that my house can provide. The house can fuel the flame to a massive blaze. But not today.
I tried to clean it once… twice, thrice but the house seems to not want to be cleaned. One part looks better and the others get worse. So what is the point? I’ll just hop through the piles. Ding Dong. The people come and go. No one stays for long. The foyer is neatly polished. I made it into a “good room.” I needed something to show company. So the foyer is the only room one can walk through. It is the only room that has curtains and shade to hide the mess. The window displays the appearance of a well put-together, clean house. Appearances can be wrong. My foyer is my good room. The good room is the only room guests can look into and the only room that outsiders can see. The good room is not me. I am the house. The good room is only one small part, the tip of the iceberg or the scratch on the surface. It is cleaned and well put-together. I spend almost no time in the good room. But on the rare occasion that people come, they only stay in the good room. People used to come by more often, but now they rarely show up. The house was cleaner at one point back when company could see a bit of my house. Most of them scoffed at the mess and never returned. Therefore I never show the house anymore. I can’t handle it when people leave… even though they all do. I don’t want to show my mess. I’ll hide from the guests and stay in the hellish attic… At least it is safe there… (Is It?)
Sitting down surrounded by the white walls of this prison I think of cleansing fire burning the house down. Who would care if this house was burnt down? Who would try to save it? Who would miss it? It just a dumb old house. Knock. Knock. What? Who is coming to this place? Why would anyone come to my house? Knock. Knock. Maybe they will leave. I don’t want to see anybody. Even me good room has gotten a little messy. Knock. Knock. Who is this person can they take no for an answer? Knock. Knock. Huh, I guess they are not going away. I emerge from the prison of my own thoughts. To shut and lock the door that way nothing came escape. After going down the stairs a take a look out the window and see the knocker. He is just a normal guy nothing special. He dressed in working clothes. Denim overalls, heavy boots and a plain t-shirt, he would knock and then wait patiently. He did not get angry. He did not try the door handle. He did not force himself into the house. He just knocked and then waited only to knock one more time to remind me that he was still out there. I watched him knock, wait and repeat for a few cycles of the process. He did not seem to notice me. But he did not leave not matter how much I ignored him. Should I let him in?
He is still here. I have heard a lot about intruders. Some of it good and some it bad. A lot of people talk about intruders. Should I let him in? He simply would not go away. He never changes. He is always there and always knocking. Sometimes he knocks more and sometimes he knocks less. The house only gets dirtier. What will he think of the mess? I should clean the house up before he comes in. The house should be more put together when he comes in. I will not let him in until I clean up. But the dirt will not come off no matter how hard I scrub. Maybe I should go let him in? No! He is going to come in here and judge me, like everyone else. He got up to knock on the door again. But this time he turned and looked at the window I spied through. His gaze met mine and he winked. Okay, I’ll let him in.
The door was locked. On the door were three locks to make sure no one got in. The locks were practically rusted through when I went to unlock them. Metal ached as I tried to move it. The lock clicked open and the door opened a crack. The sunlight blinded me. The light in the house was dim. The electric went out a long time ago and the shades are all shut. The sunlight was the only light I'd seen in a very very long time. The stranger smiled at me and then his face turned to worry. “Hello, my child,” he said, looking at me.
"What do you want?” I demanded, only opening the door a crack.
“I don’t want anything.”
“Then why are you here?”
The stranger stood there. He did not force himself inside. Even though he clearly wanted to get into the house. He looked at me and looked concerned. He got down on one knee and whispered to me. His voice was smooth, sweet and had a calming effect on my nervous mind. As he was talking the door slowing starting to open. The sun got brighter.
“Do you want me to come in?” he asked. I nodded yes. He walked in and saw the house but he stayed in the good room. Looking at the mess, he asked me a few questions. Then he got down on his hands and knees and started cleaning. He picked up the trash that I did not have the strength to throw away, then cleaned off the dirt that had plagued me. We cleaned the good room together. The cleaner the room became, the more strength I gained. The door opened once more as the trash bags were thrown to the curb. When we went back into the house I shut the door and locked two of the locks. I looked at the stranger and without words, I showed him the rest of the house.
He looked at the mess and said nothing. His face showed no judgment and his actions were pure. He bent down and started cleaning. A smile flashed across my face as I started to help him. The funny thing is that before he showed up I lacked all strength to clean this mess himself. Now look at me, I am cleaning the house! I’m cleaning the house. The stranger never told me his name but it seems that I can do anything with this stranger but my side. He says no words but as we clean the house I tell him everything. He will look at a mess and I would tell him what the mess was, “This is when I got rejected… the first time.” “Oh, and that is when I got screw over… the first time.” The messy piles were the problems I never thought to deal with. One by one he helped me let them go and realize that they were not that important.
Time passes and the stranger and I cleaned the house up well. The stranger who I now call friend is a skilled laborer. He knows how to patch and replace drywall. So those dents that I only painted over were now completely fixed. When he was done I still needed to sand it down and repaint it. But he did what I could not do. The house was nearly flawless. My friend and I clean it all except the room in the attic. I never told him about that one. My friend does not stay in the house anymore. It used to be that he never left but now he comes and goes. Before I needed him here with all the work that needed to get done. But the work is almost done. Can it ever be done? Now that I think about it; I don’t think I can ever finish. Once I finishing cleaning up one room the other room gets dirty. It is a never ending cycle. Guests now come into the house; not just the good room. The good room is where newcomers stay but returning guests get to come in. Some leave but others stay and some come back. Some saw the house and still wanted to see more. They were special and they said they would never leave. I wanted to show them the attic room but I decided on not doing that. Then shortly after, they left. They never really came back they saw what they needed to and left; just like the others. No one sees the whole house and stays. The house gets dirty again…
After the house got cleaned up the weight of the world broke me. I grew tired and started to neglect cleaning some areas. The house grew dirty. So dirty that my friend came back. He brought his lovely hands to set my house right again. But it seems whenever he leaves my house gets messy. Therefore I invited him to come back. Not to fix anything I just wanted him to come back and hang out at least once a week. Eventually, I showed my friend the attic. He knew about it the whole time. The house became more manageable ever since. I thought the house was good enough to show to other people, but my friend said no.
I did not listen. I wanted people to see the house. I worked hard on it and I wanted to show it off. No one was interested. Some people would look in the windows but no one walked inside. I give up. This is horrible. This house is going to kill me. I walked outside to get fresh air. A tear of bitterness fell from my eye. The house won; I give up. I cannot win with this house. It is a terrible house. No one wants to see it and no one wants to stay inside. My friend tells me to wait. But how much longer? On this porch, I cover my face.
“Excuse me?” It was an acquaintance, Emily. Not someone that I would show my house to. She sits next to me on the porch. I spent so much time looking for people to show my house to. But now someone came here. What do I do? I’ll go along for the ride. We talk and then go and see her house. I liked her house a lot. Some of the rooms carried a lot of pain. She got through it. I really like her house. I do not get invited to many houses. She wanted to see my house. I did not know what to do. If I show her my house she might run away. I do not want her to run away. No one ever wanted to see my house before. I spent my days trying to find someone who wanted to see my house. Now someone wants to and I am hesitant. What is wrong with her? Does she realize I have nothing to offer? I am beer and pretzels and she is perfection. What does she see in me? We get to my house. Standing on the porch, what do I do? Do I let her in and take a risk or play it safe and show her nothing.
My house is full of pain. The walls are painted in the pain. The writing on the wallpaper tells the story of a wasted useless life… My life. But she wants to see my house. The house that is a part of me. As much as I want to show her, part of me does not want her to see anything.
“Do you really want to see my house?”
“But my house is not a good one.”
“I think it is pretty special.” She wrapped her fingers around mine. She looks in my eyes and her eyes tell me that it is okay. That she will not leave. I wanted my friend to tell what to do. My friend helped me with this house. I thought he wanted me to show it off. But he always says, “Not yet.” When? When can I show my house off? Holding her hand tight I push the door open, “Welcome to my house.”