“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

11.18.2009

Inside the Door

Inside my front door, which are double glass doors letting in tons of sunshine and northern light, there sits this table, this buffet, this thing, this piece of furniture which I stole from a place I rented years and years ago. It was the home of my dreams, and in fact, I dream about it still - an old, old house divided into 3 apartments, 10' ceilings, wooden floors, a fireplace in both the living room & bedroom, giant windows; I only made curtains for the bottom half of each window - they were 8 feet tall and the house was built high off the ground; those half curtains meant I could watch the stars from my couch. It had windows, windows, windows and a dining area perfect for a studio and I loved it dearly. I knew the instant I opened the old heavy door that it would be mine. It even had connections to my childhood - my family had lived 1/2 block away in my preschool years and the house used to have "garage sales" in the house. I'd remembered that my whole growing up life, could and can still see the dresses hanging in the hallway next to the staircase, that backlit soft light of old photographs making the dresses glow, their faded pastels the colors of dusty fairy tales. When I walked into the house for the first time as an adult, I knew it, knew the place I'd remembered was real, and then I opened the door to my soon-to-be apartment and knew I was home.

At the time a friend lived across the hall, a family upstairs, but in time they left and others moved in and eventually I had to leave, driven out by younger, ruder people whose daddies paid their bills and who left me no time to sleep, no time to think, no peace. My landlord was useless - never mind the fact that I'd been there 7 years, that I'd taken such wonderful care of the place, never mind all that. Good renters are under-appreciated. Always. So I found a place in the country with the closest neighbor a horse who stood at the fence and looked in my front door, but before I left I stole this piece of furniture which stood in the hallway, sad, neglected, empty. It was definitely not me - it has curly cues all over and was a horrible yellow, but I took it anyway and painted the outside white and inside all the drawers & cubbyholes I painted aqua. It looks like a big white wedding cake and it makes me smile. No one ever missed it and I always think of that wonderful place when I touch this whatever it is.

As I said, it sits right smack inside the front door and is the catchall for the day's goodies and I am pretty bad about clearing it off with any regularity. If you look close you will see a white floating candle shaped like a star, pink bling left over from Halloween, lip gloss, a candle inside a lime, a small handmade journal, the strap to my camera carrying purse (I hate camera bags), an LCD reader for reading in the dark and Lord knows what else that I'm just missing. Lots of loose change. But it also holds flowers and postcards from Italy and Bali and a stopped clock (the very best kind, don't you think?) and it is home and it is mine - I've had it for 20 years or so now. My old landlord apologized to me later, sad he'd not kept me and he died a few years later.

I think he was glad I took the table.
mr wright aka mr right

7 comments:

  1. your buffet is very special, as is your story:)

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  2. Oh I love the description of the apartment - can just feel the homey coziness of it. What a pity your landlord was a shortsighted fool. I'm glad you've got the table (or whatever it is). Sounds like you and she will be building memories forever.

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  3. you always make my heart smile and my soul skip.

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  4. Unlike my own recently posted thievery, I think yours was more a fulfillment of fate, mi amor...

    :-)

    (((hugs))),
    love,
    me

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  5. ah a table with such stories ...a daily one with all of your "treasures" and one with a history all its own..keep it..always...

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  6. Oh, what a perfectly perfect place to have lived, and how sad that you had to leave due to loud and rude people. But a horse for a neighbour...how sweet would that be? I believe you could make a home, a nest, out of any place, dear Debi.
    xoxo

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  7. i often find it hard not to be able to be there and see for myself. no matter what you say the true to life image would surpass in perfection even your poetic words. i want that chest or what-cha-ma-call-it inside my front door. hey maybe if i find one they could be a matching pair of vanishing cabinets and we could travel back and forth to our homes by walking into it and then go home by walking back into it! it would be a best dream come true :)
    xo

    p.s. i love that i can click and see the image up close. i see those pink jewels sparkle and it makes me smile thinking of them on your person somewhere for halloween... where on your person would that be?

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