home again, home again – jiggety-jig.

by angeliska on October 4, 2003

ah, hullo.
yes and then

after our first aeroplane
from amsterdam was dubbed defective
we had to wait for a new one
which took an hour or so
putting us behind so much
that after the clustered chaos of customs
in memphis our flights were sorely missed
and another four hours of airport waiting was incurred.
all this adding up to over 24 hours of solid travel
from 3 am to 3 am – it can wear you out.

I arrived home tattered and scattered,
but in one piece, for tea and cat and sleep
in a clean house, clean sheets, lovely flowers on the table
so glad to be home, to be surrounded by my treasures
and waking to the juggernaut jackhammering into concrete
outside my bedroom window, ah- I should have known then
any sense of peace was to be fleeting, fleeting..
I lay in bed, head under pillow when I hear through the din
knocking at the door, my landlord’s voice
he checks the key and goes away leaving residual suspicion
like a bad taste in my mouth- what’s all this about?
the phone rings and rings, I try to sleep but can’t
I have to know, the doubt creeping up my neck makes me itch,
restless, rising I head for the phone and find
the evidence I wasn’t supposed to discover
until later, until breakfast had been had-
Here it is:
The end it is nigh
The end of an era, of us in this home
this paradise- it has been ours
for almost five years, but no more.
No one will insure the building,
which is neglected and decaying.
Six months ago we had this same scare
here it was
but managed to postpone disaster for just a bit longer
but it seems there are no last chances this time
and we will have to go-
out into the world of tiny shitbox apartments
that are not
crumbling palaces with giant windows
and doorways and gorgeous chandeliers
and italian marble fireplaces and two balconies
and the most wonderful clawfoot bathtub in the world
and enormous rooms that look cramped when filled up with
all of our stuff and a garden courtyard and a tower
and rent that is ridiculously, absurdly cheap.
No, this is a once in a lifetime kind of place.
The possibility of inhabiting an ordinary little dumpy house
with 70’s plastic bathroom fixtures
that costs twice what we pay now
makes me want to vomit.
The thought of packing up all of my massive collection
of detritus and precious objets trouves
makes me want to hang myself from the balcony.
The idea of moving about 800 boxes of books and
furniture and fragile breakable antiques
down three flights of steep stairs
makes me want to hurl myself down the stairs.
The good news is that originally we had until October 8th
to be moved out entirely, after that the Sheriff would come
and they would board up the house and we would have to break out the rifles.
What rifles? Jesus, this is a nightmare.
Luckily, we now have until November 15th to find new, acceptable digs
and sell half of our belongings, and pack the rest and move.
This is not exactly what I had hoped to come home to.
It feels so good to be back, but I can’t let myself enjoy it,
ease into it, relax and plan anything for the future but the
disruption and dissolution of the world I have spent so long creating.
I want to fight it, to resist like I have done for so long
but there is a part of me that’s tired of fighting,
that’s exhausted from waiting for the next scare
for the next axe to fall, the other shoe to drop.
I just need a beautiful home that no one can take away from me.
I wish it could be here.
This is my house in circa 1905-1910
title or description
And here it is in 1948
title or description
I have a feeling I’ll be taking a lot of photographs of it
in this next month, so you can see what it looks like now.
If you’ve never visited me here, now is the time.
This is the sound of a heartbreak.

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