I’m still smelling-
antiquated wood, dusty crevices, old rugs, horse hair and plaster walls, spackling over cracks, hardwood floors, unfinished spaces between the window sills and the outdoors, mildew in the basement, the chalk rubbing off the walls, the abandoned laundry chute, a queen sized bed, a carpeted childhood closet, storage spaces and hiding places, matches just lit to light the fireplace.
I’m still tasting-
Dad’s fresh baked bread still hot from the oven, hot enough to melt the butter on but just right to the taste. Pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mother’s Christmas only Cardamon cake. The metal file I used on my teeth. The wooden furnishings I left teeth marks in. The paper I’d chew and eat. Every plastic toy I needed my mouth around. Pennies. Pine needles from all the dead Christmas trees, dried and shedding fast. Dog hair on everything. Unsweetened baking chocolate, like chalk, as a joke. Legos. Fresh cut pineapple I waited days for Mom to cut open. Knives I was told not to put in my mouth, licked safely on the blunt edge. Pencils. The insides of stainless steel bowls and rubber spatulas still wet with fresh cookie dough or cake batter. My own hair, long enough to reach my mouth.
I’m still touching-
ornate corner peices to doorways and cabinets delightfully round rings rise and dip, divets, valleys for my fingers nipple in it’s center; Edgey ballusters square at the top round down into columns over lips and segmented cylinders rounded curvy smooth til it finds it’s square again tunneling into hard wood below vast vistas of planks stretch forward the tiniest lines divide them and betwixt them are crevices small or great, blackened by the pitter pattering footsteps of a hundred boys and girls; Curvaceous trims rough to the touch where weather has weathered them down to chips, outside the world is cold or warm, but always wondrous and they melt with difficulty into the great scales of my home and down rails, up columns my toes remember touching down upon and climbing up, the rough tension between skin and home holds me up between them like a hammock caught between trees. I’m still there relaxing in tension.
I’m still hearing-
footsteps around the corner- who’s coming? clickety-clak, clickety-clak, Dad’s in his cowboy boots again, ready for the day’s work. Shiffle shiff shiffle shiff, Dad’s walking the halls tonight, hours of TV have worked their hypnosis well enough to calm his acid reflux, nerves for the evening. Step, step, creak, eeewwaaarerrr shhhhhhh, someone has gone to the bathroom on the second floor. Shk, shk shk shk shk shk click- someone has gone to the bathroom on the first floor. Jingle bells, someone just came through the front door. Slicklackety- lackety the screen door on the big porch just closed. Clangarangarangshktack, the glass door in the hallway closes. Clink! Lights on to the third floor. Bip… Bip… Bip… The fire alarm batteries are dying. HAruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh the furnace turns on while the house warms up. weeeeeeee row, flllllshhhhhhhhhhhh fllllllllshhhhhhhhhhh ffllll shhh woweroo woweroo woweroo, ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffhhhhhhhhh the firemen battle the flames.
I’m still seeing-
It all intact. Or partially, as if a ghost, of the past wondering unchained from the underworld walking amongst the living. I see it in my dreams, in visions of hope and home and splendor. I see it here inside of me, this tiny snow globe like Edward Scissors home, trapped in sheets of self made ice, glittering in the wind, it’s darkest corners illuminated by the frost that freezes it’s last impressions in time. I see no whole home anymore, nothing 18 Grand about it. Just some smoldering house, some vagrant spot to squat in. Yet I recall even the ghost with happy imagery, though I can not shake it’s ghoulish figure from my minds eye. I can never again see what 18 Grand stood as, even in my imagination. But it is exactly there that I see what it stood for. And bow to that great spirit, give it a great big hug, and send it on it’s way. And as it disappears through flame and air, I see, but for a single moment, a smile, still hovering there.