Sunday, August 21, 2005

My Father's House
Shenzhen Zen is taking a short detour for a guest blog courtesy of Julian Mitchell who posted this on another site recently. It's related because he just packed up, cleaned out and turned over the keys to the apartment he and I shared for four years or so and that he continued to use for two more after I left for China for his trips back to Colorado from Drake University in Iowa. It was still being rented by my father for both he and Julian after I left, partially for their use when they were in Colorado and, I think, also in hopes of me returning sooner. I'll let the rest speak for itself.
I turned in the keys to 1608 Garfield Ave. Apt. 3 today. I gave away the keys to my home today. I walked into the main offices of Property Resources today and handed the woman behind the desk one mail box key and one key to the front door.
“Are you moving out?” the cheery thin-boned, high cheeked woman behind the desk asked.
“Something like that…” I mumble.
“Do we have a forwarding address? You know for the deposit.” She says almost singing
“No…I think, my aunt will handle that. I just moving the place out.” I remember vaguely Grandfather saying something about forfeiting the deposit.
“Oh, well than have a nice day.” She smiles and I smile back.
I spent most of my high school life in that apartment. It was where a became who I am today. It was my home. I felt safe there, I was happy there…well most of the time. I remember sitting in my room (when it was my room, not N8’s, not Squirts’…mine) Rachel looking around at my walls and basic layout and remarking, “Yeah, this is a happy place.” It was the house I enjoyed being at. A house where I wasn’t afraid of someone screaming at me for no reason. A house that was mine as much as it was my dad’s. I looked forward to coming home instead of dreading it. Dad wasn’t happy there, I knew that but he was strong for me. I was happy, really happy there. Like there was an energy about the place. Something that when I was there I was content, safe. Like the world outside, the walls weren’t that important.
It was just weird to see it so empty, I’d never seen it like that, there was so much room, so much space. I could have sworn I heard an echo. Dad moved us in while I was at camp. So I came back to a new place, but didn’t have to go through the whole moving process. I remember thinking if we were going to stay there long. We’d only stayed at Madison for three months, and Mohawk for like nine months. How long were we going to be at Garfield? Now, for the first time in six years, a Mitchell will not be on the lease.
I gave away the keys to my home today.
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