I tend not to speak directly about anything here… or anywhere. But I don’t know how else to approach this.
Epiphanies are like that. I was confronted with a truth. I was confronted with all I ever wanted, so primal and basic I never saw it.
I could never have guessed it. But it’s been there, staring me in the eye for my whole fucking life. All I ever wanted.
So- I never think about it. I don’t remember it. My life is a blur before I was sixteen. But I’m talking with Antigone, and an idea comes out of my mouth.
“There’s someplace I’d like to visit.” She looks at me oddly, and says she’d be happy to go there with me, on the way back from a camping trip. On the way back, we are running out of time, so I start to suggest that it might not be a good idea- that there may be other places we should go, other things we should do. That look comes back to her face. She says she thinks we should go.
I start checking the atlas, and navigating. My agitation increases.
As we draw closer, I am getting genuinely freaked. “Why did I want to do this? I don’t want to do this. I never wanted to do this. Why am I here?”
As we approach, I start feeling… odd. Displaced. Dispossessed. I start to recognize landmarks, I start feeling an unsettling duality. Things are getting to familiar. My flesh is crawling.
Then I know where we are. The town I grew up in. The place I never think about. The place I don’t remember.
I find the road- Marsh Hill Road, a long. winding half-mile uphill. We pass a stone column, this odd, mute sentry outdating my family. Maybe every other house on the hill.
I recognize it, and the reality begins to sink in. My lips are numb. I have pictured this town every time I read about a small town. It’s Derry, Maine. Salem’s Lot. Our Town. But I never think about it. I don’t remember it.
Then we pull into the driveway. I see the house. I can’t talk.
She pulls us in and we get out of the car. My legs are weak. My hands shake, my head buzzes. I notice what has changed, what is different- and the overwhelming details which are the same.
It’s so much smaller. Giant stone walls which have dwarfed me in my memory are now beneath the line of my shoulders. Vast expanses, impenatrable distances- reduced. But I still see them huge, surrounding me, the whole world laying out in all directions. I see it both ways. We walk up the stone steps to the flagstone patio. Buried beneath my feet is my father’s storage and workroom, his sanctuary. I knock on the door. It’s the same door- black, solid wood- peaked, like a temple or a mausoleum. I knock. I am prepared for anything. I try to find my game face, although I want to cry. My body is humming, like I’m standing on a dynamo, or a ley line. I am ready. The door opens, and a kindly man with a beard answers. I am ready.
“Hello- this is a little odd, but I used to live here thirty years ago, and-“
“I remember you.”
I am not ready for this.
“We bought the house from your mother, twenty three years ago. I remember you. I have been expecting one of you kids for a while now. I would have recognized you even if you had not told me.”
I am not ready for this.
“Would you like to come in and look around?”
I am not ready for this.
I keep it together, shake hands, introduce myself, introduce Antigone. We make some small talk, but I can’t really hear it. My head is filled with roaring. It throbs.
I take a walk around the grounds, and dart away hastily. I need someplace to fall apart.
I can’t talk about the tour. there’s too much, it’s too wierd, and it’s too personal. but I learned some interesting things.
This house has passed between my family and the current owners’ family two or three times. Buying and selling this property back and forth, keeping it in this “family”
He wants to sell it. It’s my turn.
I have no way of buying it.
I have never stopped thinking about this place. Never.
No place has been home since I left here. Nothing else was EVER home. I think about the idea of home, I write about it. I obsess on the duality of home, it’s dangers and it’s glories. I have been praying to this house my whole life. I have never stopped thinking about it. I have never wanted any home but this. I thought I had no particular dreams, no visions. I also told myself that I never thought about this place. I told myself I did not remember it.
I remember everything.
I can’t afford it. Unless DotPublishing takes off- and takes off in a truly spectacular way, I have no chance.
Today Soulhuntre and Tatsumi and I were in the car, and a facetious conversation came up. “If you had Bill Gates’ money- last counted at 50 billion in personal assets, what would you do? What about 1 billion? What about 10 million? What about 5? What about 1?
I couldn’t tell them what I was thinking. It was a lighthearted conversation, and I had no way of expressing the depth of my obsession. How important this is to me. How everything else pales in comparison. How haunted I am by this, how I have not stopped thinking about it, how I can’t stop thinking about it. Right now, when things are tough and I just don’t have the bandwidth to distance myself from my visions, I lay awake and bleed it. I’ve bought lottery tickets for the first time in my life. I suddenly understand things which have mystified me my whole life: What I want. What I’ve always wanted.
I want to go home.