Friday, June 22, 2012

The Journey Home: The Nightmare

There should have been plaster, there should have been Progress, there should have been people working, but my forgotten little ashen house sits across from where I sit, trying to occupy as little material space as possible, dreaming of a time when it was, desparing of ever being again. It had looked more occupied, more inhabited when it had no windows, than it does now, when the windows yawn black and reflect back whoever looks at them, denying their own existence.

I was promised that no matter what, this house would be done by June; I should have asked for specifics, like year and decade. I believe the house has been forgotten by those contracted to save it; it waits there, half its walls up, half the floor gouged out, the stairs cracked, vents opening onto empty spaces. No one comes to tend it for longer than a couple of hours a week in a good week. I visit it every day, dropping thoughts of well being on the ashes in the downstairs bathroom, on the cracks on the stairs, in the empty closet that is supposed to house the a/c. However, I don't need to be told that  my good wishes are impotent, like the dust that gathers on the untended windows and pipes of my house.

Suddenly, one day, I was told to call my cable company because the house was almost ready to receive such services. In a hurricane of fumbling, orders were sorted and appointments made, promising imminent livening up of my burnt life. However, all appointments and orders are cancelled and on hold now, since no one remembers making that call to me, especially not yet, since the hosue is so far from being "done."

Maybe I dreamt it, though people who inhabit this reality assure me otherwise. When I use all my spine to pose questions about possible completion of The Project, I get shocked, vacant stares at my audacity in asking such questions, which smack of blatant greed of squatting on the house. Patience, which I do not posses, is called for, as no one can estimate any longer how long This Thing is likely to take. In fact, it seems farther away from completion than it was two months ago. Maybe six months? Maybe more?

I know there has to be a lesson in all this; however, all thinking, computing, analysis elude me. I wonder if Rama, Odysseus, Sita, or any of my guiding metaphors ever felt this way; inevitably they did. They have had to. So, patient Reader, it seems what I complain of is merely my humanity; there is no fix for this.

I just returned from my daily stroll to my abandoned home; I wanted to check if the plaster on the walls was ready to be painted. There is no plaster; as I step out in the soft rain, I wonder at my grasp on reality, especially instead of the plasatering crew, I met the plumber in my house, doing mysterious tasks that are none of my business and anyways, beyond my understanding.

I have a recurring nightmare: a gnome, or a man sits in a dark corner under a cloud of foreboding and is busy with something I cannot see. My unchanging dream-fear is that he will turn around.

Maybe the lesson is from my nightmare? Maybe I ask too many questions. Maybe I quest and thirst too much. I have alluded to her before, but today, again, I am the woman from Garcia-Marquez's short story, who has run out of heartbeats to count and the man bothered by the noise of the wheeling stars.

The only resolution to my problems is that the unreal shift definitely away from the real. After all, that is how all nightmares are resolved.


  1. I am so sorry that you continue to suffer. I'm fairly sure that Odysseus did feel the way you feel, trapped in various spots, despairing of ever getting free.

    I need to go back to read the original Homer--does Homer talk about O. returning home? My vision of the homecoming is pure Tennyson, Odysseus at home, at last, but yearning for the seas.

    I feel a poem brewing, but I feel like I'm poaching your tragedy! Let's both write a poem. It won't make your house done any sooner (or will it?), but if you could create good art out of your ongoing tragedy . . .

    OK, no platitudes from me, who has never suffered a tragedy of the magnitude you're enduring. But know that my sympathies are with you!

  2. I only read O in English, but yes, of course, he comes home, kills all those suitors who want to marry his wife and convinces his wife of his identity (remember the two live trees his bed is made of?).
    And please, Kristin, "poach" away! After all, my situation is not palatable raw and is likely to give indigestion; it may taste better poached! Seriously, though, I'd be glad if anything good comes out of this.
    And most important of all, thank you for your kind wishes.


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