I’m not sure which appeared first, the cracks in these walls or the ones in my marriage. Regardless, I noticed the walls first and, truth be told, thought they were charming. I’ve never been drawn to anything perfect. Sadly, though, the cracks in my marriage were neither cute nor charming. There really wasn’t anyone to blame. We simply made a the big mistake of settling from the get-go on a shaky, unsure foundation, rather than taking our time to search for the one that fit best.
After the divorce, unable to say goodbye to everything all at once, I begged for this house.
The same house that can at times appear weak and worn, deflated and defeated – all making it nearly impossible to see just how fucking strong and solid it is on the inside. You know, where it counts…she assures herself with a nervous laugh.
I’m attached to this old girl, and even that’s an understatement. Still, most have trouble understanding my love for its charming dilapidation. And, I get that.
They see shoddy siding – cracks zigzagging their way across walls despite fresh coats of paint. Because, after all, anything can be prettied up for a bit, but that doesn’t mean the ugly won’t return to the surface and usually just about the time you get cocky and think you’ve won.
They see tacky purple paint, peeking through chipped more-palatable-to-some colors. And, I see the same thing. It’s our interpretation that differs. To some, these are signs of decay and weakness. But, to me, they’re signs of magic – a slowly told story that leaves me bursting with a curiosity even Google can’t answer.
Did the person with an affinity for bright purple also scream “motherfucker” when the door jammed?
Did someone lie in bed at night, staring up to the oddly placed ceiling fan, wondering who the hell thought that was a good place to put it?
When the dining room lights flickered, did a girl with a loud mouth, but the best of intentions, jump up and down really fast on the hardwoods, until those lights coughed, sputtered, and, fed up with her shit, finally flicker back on?
Did someone sit outside at night, under the breathtaking pecan tree, the same way I do? Trying to figure out the point of it all, while little by little stockpiling the courage to choose a life of meaning rather than one of complacency?
In this small, sweet house with the strong bones, resides eighty years of happiness and struggles, different and no different than my own. It’s a beautiful thing, really, but it’s not mine anymore. I’m finally ready to close the book on who I used to be.
The chance is near perfect that my happiness and struggles will be the last this place sees. Papers will be signed, and permits will be purchased. My beloved pecan tree will be rounded with a flimsy fence to mark its importance, and blueprints, drawn up months before they had a place to call home, will be pulled. In one day, it will all be gone…leveled to make way for a foundation perfectly fit for another.
Many have struggled to understand how I’m not only at peace with this, but excited and optimistic to boot. And, I get that. Because, some see it as lifetime of memories and history, however weak, worn, and dilapidated, being torn to the ground . And I see the same thing. It’s our interpretation that differs.
While they see a tragic ending, I’m already knee-deep in a beautiful beginning.