Sitting in dust.  

liquid_light 44M
13 posts
4/17/2006 10:02 am
Sitting in dust.


A few months ago, my house burned. My wife and kids and I were all asleep, and we managed to carry my kids out safely. No one was hurt, and for that I am in awe, and I feel profoundly lucky. We were about one minute away from being trapped inside.

In the weeks since then, we've been dealing with the insurance company and sorting out our life, and this culminated in the beginning of the repair process; I spent the past five back-breaking days gutting my house to the studs.

This is dusty work. Old insulation, exploding plaster, sledgehammers on wood. We've had a few friends pitching in, which was wonderful. But mainly, I'm amazed at how profound it is to rip apart the house you live in. Walls we painted, rooms I built, windows we gazed through, doors we slammed. Bits of my kids' artwork caught between registers and walls. Years of work and love, peeling away and going in one big dumpster in my driveway, to be emptied and placed back down for the next load.

Today I opened the house up and stared at the space. It's definitely haunted. Each square foot holds memories. As I build it back, I'll try to respect those memories and the paths we walked while creating something new. Everyone I talk to consoles me about how much work it is, but what they don't grasp is that the physical labor is even, paced, and manageable, but working among ghosts wears me down. I can only hold onto the idea of home, in a house that screams as I dismember it.

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