The facade, once faded green, has now been painted a blissful, institutional yellow.
I drive by on my way to my new home. This new home doesn't quite fit me. I feel like a man who has been forced to walk barefooted and considers himself lucky to have found someone else's discarded shoes. I know I should feel grateful to be shod at all, and yet, these shoes do not fit me, they were not made for me and no matter how hard I try I cannot force myself into feeling that these are now my shoes. They are good shoes. Well, good enough shoes anyway... they are not my shoes. However long I may wear them, they will never bring me comfort, only a blister on my heel to remind me that I should be grateful. I force myself to feel grateful.
I see the pink babydoll buggy lying abandoned in the front yard. The garage door is half open revealing a sterile orderliness. Tools hung in their right places on a peg board. Boxes stacked neatly against one wall. God does like a neat tidy package, perhaps that's where we went wrong? Too frenetic in our desires, too much in love with life, too chaotic in our security, we filled it with our loud voices and the things we had acquired in our travels, our music and all of the miscellany that comes with years. From elementary school finger paintings to high school year books, we crammed it all in – knowing that this was our home. Or would someday be. Perhaps that is why? Because we had the audacity to assume our future.
I have seen them of course. I know them. They know me. But not in a way that's personal, not intimately, like old friends who share their darkest secrets. Yet they do know my darkest secret, they've glimpsed a part of my shame. Without this we might have been friends. Might have walked our children to school together or stood by our mailboxes and chatted about growing tomatoes or trimming the hedges. As it is now I feel the sting of red in my cheeks whenever they approach, I move away quickly lest they recognize my stain.