maybe this house
illustrative flair by my mother

I shouldn’t be writing about this now. It’s too soon and there is nothing to say. Except there is something to share, which is oddly different from something to say.

I want to buy a house.

It took me a very long time to type that.

Of course this isn’t an abstract situation, there is a specific house. It has bedrooms and bathrooms and room for my desk. There is a backyard and a front porch. There is public transit close enough for Mother to easily and safely get to work. It is in the school district that I love. It’s old and affordable and after looking at rentals for nearly a year it ends up being significantly less, per month, than any house we would be able to find to rent.

There are logistics and hurdles and phone calls and emails and moments where the music swells and I am so ridiculously hopeful. The bottom line, the pragmatic line, is that it will either be able to happen or it won’t be able to happen. Our family will be ok one way or the other. I have a plan in place for W for school, we are no longer in a super rush to move, the edge is no longer so sharp.

But there’s this house. I would like it very much.

Four years ago we were homeless. Three years ago we moved to the Philadelphia area to turn our corner. Mother has had great success and happiness at her job and I have found two different creative jobs that have launched us out of needing to depend on assistance and in a place where we could save.

My goal, because it is what I have wanted my entire life, is to put roots down. I want nothing more than to live in a community and grow within it for years. I want W to experience going to the same school for more than two consecutive years. I want to have and create a home in every sense of the word.

I can’t remember much about any of the apartments or rental homes I lived in when I was growing up. I know there was day-glow floral wallpaper in my bedroom in one of the homes in Florida. I know there was a pool at an apartment in another town in Florida. I remember being near the stadium in Alabama. I remember painting a bedroom peach. Go ahead and ask me the names of the streets I lived on. I can’t tell you.

I can tell you what coming home felt like though. Home was my grandparent’s house. I can tell you the phone number for the house my grandparents lived in for nearly 40 years. I can draw you a map of the walk-in pantry. I can close my eyes and remember the sounds and smells. That feeling is more than family, that feeling is being familiar. I never doubted I was loved during my nomadic childhood, but I pined for stillness.

I say all of this knowing full well that it is dangerous to have emotions about houses. So I will say I don’t have these feelings just about THIS house, but about having a home in general. There is something broken within me and I want to fix it with a home. I want to unpack my life and live. I am ready.

I don’t know what happens next, all I know is that I am crossing fingers and hoping and visualizing. I want to make this happen. I finally got to the place where I realized I needed to sit down and write through it because I could wake up tomorrow and the house could be gone, but these feelings are griping my shoulders and looking into my eyes and I am facing them.

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