Before I begin, let me say that if I offended any of my Rastafarian readers with that last post, allow me to apologize. Forgive Jon-dog. He knows not what he does.
Well, the new place sucks. I decided that yesterday. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad we were able to get into this place, elsewise we'd be stranded on the mean streets of Athens, Ga. And it is a very nice house on plenty of acreage. And while there are praises worth singing or at least humming about the new, ephemeral digs - the coyotes on the perimeter, droves of deer in our yard every morning, Bradford pear trees now erupting into full bloom, and those crazy windmills handmade from old bicycle rims - there is one major drawback. Lo, for this is the kind of house meant for someone about to die.
There are a few things that make it a death house, which I'll presently describe. And then you'll see what I mean, and you can then apply these criteria to your own domicile and ask the burning question Do I live in a death house too?
(1) This house has five frickin' acres of lawn. Why? Because only an older person, on their way out, would need such a lawn to mow, rake, aerate, and de-thatch and thus keep him (or her) occupied during windmill construction and the latest Reader's Digest. For a young, strapping laddie such as myself, five acres of lawn = Headache Royale. It is, therefore, a Death Lawn.
(2) This house is located down a long gravel driveway off the cusp of a cul de sac at the end of a quiet street in the middle of nowhere. The property line is flanked with tall, ethereal loblolly pines that stand like faceless sentinels, waiting, watching - but for what? For the occupant to slowly die alone in the middle of quiet, peaceful nowhere, that's what. For a young, nubile thirtysomething like me, the everyday effect is one of eerie Oblivion. At these digs, late at night or in the middle of the day, you don't even know you're in America, much less Athens, Ga.
(3)This property is filled with low voltage electrical power lines suspended about twenty feet above the ground, which run along and intersect the yard in about ten different places. This is something you don't notice at first. But then you start looking for a good place to build a fire to safely burn some brush. You look up and notice that any fire you build pretty much anywhere on the land is gonna send heat and flame up to the ubiquitous power lines, which would then catch on fire and come hurtling to the ground like a flaming, electric archangel of death. Naturally, you decide not to risk this. But the nascent awareness of those power lines rests in your consciousness in the form of an easy feeling of knowningness at all times that, at all times, a dense interstitial network of low voltage electricity is buzzing twenty feet above your head like the ceiling in a bumper car lane. You wonder what unresearched, unknown health implications this might have on your physical person. And while you know you can't really worry about stuff like that with everything else you have going on, the presence of those power lines ends up being just one more thing that makes the house a Death House, because you know that the former occupant was probably some old WW2 veteran who was for some reason unconsciously really comforted by the presence of all those power lines. But you know why he was comforted. It's because he was getting senile and a little demented. He therefore equated electrical power with the power of life, and on some unconscious level held the magical belief that as long as he was surrounded by electrical power lines, he'd be safe from the Reaper's midnight ride.
(4) Everything about the house itself is, as I said earlier, really nice. That is, this house, unlike our old, rustic cabin the woods, is filled with amenities, niceties, and comforts that make you feel like you're in a moderately-priced hotel room. It might have been somebody's home once upon a time. But now it feels sterile, plush, and a little too comfortable. Basically, it's the kind of comfort one expects to receive at a nursing home. Easy access, no fuss, nice and clean. Ick! Is that Father Death I hear coming down the gravel driveway?
With all this Death House talk I can see, I guess, that basically, I'm still mourning the loss of our old place in the mushroom, wishbone, dreamscape woods. It was a good place to live and write, and a terrific place to be a family. Sure, we'll make do just fine wherever we go. And this place ain't all that bad, really. In fact, it's kind of a dream house. If I was more settled, if my soul was more settled, perhaps I'd wanna put down roots right here in the Death House. But, no, there's other fish that need fryin'...