Monday, March 4

This Old House


It is almost three in the morning, the night is quiet, and I lay on my bed eyes wide open. My mind is alert, and I find myself unable to sleep. You see, tonight is the last night I will be sleeping in this house, this old house in which I've celebrated many things and mourn a few losses. It has shared some of my disappointments and many of my triumphs. It is my house. It is my home. And unlike other nights where sleep comes too easily, tonight I stare at the dark ceiling and wonder if it will ever miss me.

Moving to a new place is always a challenge for me. First, I am not one who manages too easily the chaos of boxes and piled up collection of things waiting to be sorted, packed, and transferre. Second, I hate physical labor. And last, I am not one who fancies saying goodbye at all.

Bidding farewell to a friend is easy. You wave, blow a kiss, and say adieu. You may even weep a little. But ultimately, you know there is always the occasional phone call and email, or some other mode of communication that does not require any physical appearance. With our current technology, speaking to a distant friend is only a click away.

But when it comes to saying goodbye to a house, a structure of brick and plaster, how do you do it? Do you wave? Utter a few words from the heart? Or simply give it a light tap on the wall and say, thank you for the good times? Does it know you are moving out? Does it care that you are leaving? Perhaps the most appropriate question is, does it remember you?

The silence in my room is punctuated by the breathing of my wife, who, even in her peaceful slumber, furrows her brow. Whatever she must be dreaming at this moment must be quite worrisome. Perhaps she, too, is pondering on this delicate subject of departure. Perhaps.

I close my eyes, a tear trickles down my cheek, and I know I'll miss an old friend. This house, though not much to look at, has been my home, the place where dreams were made. There's still a long road ahead, I think to myself, and I cannot imagine having accomplished so much without its protection and comfort. This house has been my sanctuary.

I place my hand on the wall and smile. Goodbye, old friend, I say, and the old house creaks back. It remembers. It hears. It speaks. And somehow, I know it will miss me, too.

The road ahead is long, true, but I won't be a lone traveler, the old house assures me of that. It has given me a few good friends and enough good memories to live by. And now, as dawn slowly approaches, it hums me a lullaby. I listen as its walls and floorboards sing me a quiet chorus. I close my eyes and dream of the new adventures ahead.

Tonight I sleep.

5 comments:

rkgtheauthor said...

Beautifully put! It reminded me of my childhood home and saying goodbye.

Elsie Park said...

Great description, Chris! Uh, are you moving?!?!

Christopher Loke said...

Yes. In fact, I have moved.

E. said...

The light tap on the wall with "thank you for the good times" is especially touching. A home really does take on a personality, a spirit--if you will, and it seems to absorb everything we were and learned and saw while there. Amazing...

I see that you were at Roundup over the weekend. I really wanted to be there but I had to work (I am a recipe developer and copywriter for Food for Health International).

I would love to chat about a completed ms hiding in my nightstand drawer (lovingly cleaned up by my editor, formerly an AE at Paramount). If you feel so inclined my e-mail is eha_spectrum@yahoo.com.

In reviewing JF submission guidelines, I am not sure if it is worth pursuing.

~Elaine

Christopher Loke said...

Elaine, thank you for your kind comments. If you think you have a MS that you want to have published, please submit a query to JFP following its guidelines. Once again, thank you for dropping by.