letting go. part one.

letting go. a necessary life skill. one [of the multitude] that i am still learning. the past, people, places, lost hopes and dreams. i collect them all the way some people collect precious moments figurines, all lined up collecting dust on the random shelves and hidden corners inside of me. some commemorate specific events, most could have a more generic inscription, like "regret". i occasionally take them out, one by one, polish them off as if to admire them and then carefully put them back in their places. needless to say, it's time to clean out.

but, i digress. long blog short[er], i'll narrow it down to just one of my little trophies. my childhood home. no, not the log cabin in the forest, but the home i lived in prior to that. the home that i had spent the first eight years of my life in. the home that, in my distorted memories of my childhood, was quaint and spacious and perfect. it was a four bedroom brick on the end of a cul de sac street with a circular drive in the front and lots of trees. my distorted memory painted a beautiful little portrait that i held onto for years. it was a portait that, to my horror, was tragically destroyed the first time i drove through the neighborhood at the age of sixteen.

even though we hadn't moved terribly far away, we never revisited. i drove myself there shortly after getting my drivers license. the house was occupied, but time had clearly not been kind to the neighborhood, nor to my mind's eye. but i kept going back. again and again. sometimes because i would pass through the town, sometimes because it was a nice day for a drive, sometimes because i just wanted to. once, i parked my car and walked all around the neighborhood. it was like walking through a ghost town. only i was the ghost. my old playhouse sits in a neighboring yard, battered and bruised. it survived two generations, but somehow got left behind and is now too deplorable to try to move. (i know this for a fact, as i actually tried just a few years ago). i had this fantastic delusion of rescuing it, bringing it home with me and restoring it to it's original condition. only better. i'd paint it to match our house, put flooring on the inside and window boxes on the outside. my own children would spend countless hours playing in it, just as i did and maybe, just maybe, i'd sleep a little better at night knowing that i had restored, or perhaps, redeemed a portion of my childhood.
at the risk of sounding completely neurotic, admittedly, i feel sorry for it. it just looks sad. its the same pangs of sympathy that brings tears to my eyes every time i read my children The Giving Tree. granted, the tree was slightly more animated and self-sacrificing than my little playhouse, but clearly, you can see the correlation. every time i drive down the street, i can feel it looking at me. as if waiting for me to explain myself. it's the same sensation i get when i'm the first car that comes to a stop at a red light next to a homeless person holding a sign on the corner and i've got nothing to give. literally. no cash. no change. if it's remotely close to payday, even a check would probably bounce. sometimes, i want to roll down the window and explain, "i know it may appear as though i have money, but i don't. it's all a facade!". as if my explanations or justifcations would suffice as an offer of comfort. instead, i try not to make eye contact. and i drive away. i'm in no way suggesting that a homeless human being is in any way equivalent to this playhouse of my youth, but the overwhelming sensation of helplessness that both scenarious derive in me is one in the same.
to be continued...


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