Monday, June 18, 2012

Recent Weeks: Maple Drive 1

The house was still. It sighed inaudibly as we pulled up to the driveway. Headlights traced the contours of a garage door. It could have been any garage door. A simple white automatic garage door that held a generic green car.

The usual clicks, snaps, and drumbeats of a family exiting a car accompanied. I unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door. Cloth rustled heavily as the occupants of the car gathered their belongings. Someone tapped in the combination to the garage door; it could have been me though I’m not sure. Her birthday. No house is an ordinary house.

The extraordinary hides behind the walls. Houses creak with pleasure at familiar footsteps upon floor boards, hands upon doorknobs, and bodies upon beds. The rumble, buzz, and clanks of the garage door opening pulled me out of a trance. I gathered our bags, my shoulders sagging, and walked into the house.

The dim warm light of the kitchen greeted me. Only the counter lights were on; a courtesy left by my mom. She was tired and had already gone to bed, but the late car had just arrived and wasn’t about to sleep easy. The kitchen smelled the same. Decades of cooking had seeped into the woodwork, making the house smell like a home. I noted the scent, familiar and comforting, as I set down the brown paper bag in my hand. The paper crinkled and crunched; the familiar rustling of groceries.

Olivia set to work; she had a lot to do still. Her boards for Marian were incomplete and needed to be done by the time the family left in the morning. The boards were covered in pictures of Marian at all stages of her life. Olivia was good at making those boards and in the last few years she had to make too many of them. Nevertheless, O moved her workspace to the living room and set about her project.

I took my bag of clothes and a few other things upstairs to the room I would be staying in. The middle bedroom upstairs. Ciera had stayed in that room when we were living there. The room was decorated with remnants of my aunts’ and uncles’ childhoods. A horse marionette, a typewriter, books on German culture and language, and long forgotten articles of clothing. I set my things down in a self-absorbed manner. I was exhausted and could think little beyond my need for sleep. Not that I expected sleep to come easily.

I expected my body to continue functioning normally; something I took for granted. Bodies don’t always function normally and we’re never quite sure when that will happen.