Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This Is Not My Beautiful House

At some point --I suppose it was maybe fifteen years into the mess-- I looked around and said out loud, "None of this shit was my idea." Elaboration was requested, and elaboration was provided. I'd had a few belts on my way home from the office, and maybe a few more once I got settled in on the couch in front of the TV.

My wife was in the bedroom just down the hall, reading some daft book club novel. There were fucking angels all over my fucking house.

"How come every one of these fucking angels is a grinning, fresh-faced toddler?" I shouted. "It looks like a fucking toilet paper advertisement in here."

I'll admit that this last remark gave even me a moment of puzzlement. Toilet paper advertisement? Were cherubs enlisted to sell toilet paper? I guess I had some memory that they were, but maybe it was fabric softener I was thinking of. And maybe it was just babies, not resurrected babies. I didn't care. The angels got on my nerves. I didn't buy them. I didn't put them all over my fucking house. And I didn't want them. It occurred to me that I hated them so much that I had repressed them. On the rare occasion that I did notice them I would experience a brief alien pang --How could this possibly be my fucking life?-- and then I would turn away in disgust.

There was a pillow at my elbow on which some slave orphan in Southeast Asia had embroidered the words, "Mi Casa, Su Casa." Did I buy that pillow? I did not. Did I want that pillow? I sure as fuck did not. Did I have anything to do with that pink breast cancer bear that was propped up in a junky, presumably 'antique' high chair next to the fireplace? I assuredly did not. And the faux-rustic sign that read "Dreams Spoken Here," which was painted on an old scrap of barn wood and hanging above the bed I slept in?

It wasn't mine. It just appeared one day.

Did I put that bow tie on the dog? I did not. Was the dog in question even a sturdy enough creature to fit my own personal conception of a dog? It was not.

The house I lived in always smelled like a combination of Fruit Loops and lavender.

One day I came home and my wife had bought a fondue pot. She had set out all these little plates of little pieces of wholly incompatible foods. When I told her I wanted to eat and not play with my food, she told me I could eat someplace else. Which I did.

The memory of that incident caused me to shout from the couch the same words that I recalled shouting on the fondue night as I slammed the door on my way out to the garage: "This is my goddamned house!"

I shouted those words. Twice, if I'm not mistaken.

There was no response from the bedroom.

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