Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She Came In From The Storm

It was horror movie rain. A wall of water that fell like a stage curtain across the front of the house, causing the asbestos sheeting on the roof to drone like the static of a thousand broken TV sets. The hiss of the occasional car outside as it surfed through the puddles only added to the sense of isolation.

Of course, within, the house was warm and bathed in liquid yellow light, but the weather outside intruded by the force of the storm on the windows and walls.

This was a house occupied by itinerants, drifters: People in between here and somewhere else. The floor wasn’t disturbed by sprawling root systems- no one ever stayed long enough to call it home. The letterbox would clog with notifications of unpaid bills and fines for previous tenants, but there remained little evidence of the people whose lives were loaded off and onto trucks with depressing frequency.

I’d lived there a few months- a place to sleep and gather thoughts after a shift in my circumstances. In a faltering half-hearted way I’d tried to make it homely and accommodating, but it remained a half-way house with a distinct echo of loneliness- and a real one since the high-ceilinged space was sparsely furnished.

But then she came. Her yellow car swishing to a stop at the kerb outside, brakes squealing in protest but powerless to resist the arrival. She came, dripping the storm into the house, the rain washing off the life she’d left behind as she brought in bags and boxes, armloads of history.

And so the house of loneliness became a home. A place for warm embraces and shared moments. Of silence broken by hummed music and running baths, of air scented with the intoxicating fragrances of the perfumes and possessions of a woman.

It was always just a house, until you came, squinting the rivulets of water out of your eyes into the dim passage, bringing with you life and new beginnings…