Friday, May 25, 2012

Adios, slanted house....

Not Too Late - Norah Jones 
(Norah Jones will always remind me of Anna, in the office at Sterling Quest....)

There is a story is late at night, in steamy early summer in Philadelphia. A girl sits at her computer, in a stuffy room that she has lived in and out of for many months. The walls are tan, and are crooked. The whole house slants. 

She filled it with a second hand leather couch, an old trunk of a friend's, two bookcases she bought with her first paycheck after college, a comfortable bed, an old sewing machine. She hung art on the walls, the slanted walls, put curtains in the windows. She taped ephemera to the walls, and wrote poems inside blank cards and pinned them up all over the house. She went to work. She planted plastic tubs in the front with flowers. She cooked meals in the kitchen, and wrapped the drab island in red oilcloth, and hung Mexican flags around on the windows and on the voodoo doll she got three years ago. She lived here with one of her best friends, and then she lived here more alone than before.

She wrote journal entries, and played Scrabble in earnest. She loved science and tried to communicate that to students who struggled. She baked sugar cookies, and drank cocktails, and learned to get to know new people and a new city. She took long, long walks and ended up with blisters on her heels. She discovered the beautiful parts of the city that maybe, she would have missed. She listened to music on her headphones, and learned to walk quickly but still appreciate the murals and the mosaics. She spent lots of time alone, and realized that although she didn't want to be alone for a long time, that being alone was just fine for the time being.

She lost a lot, but gained priceless things. She ate pancakes on Sunday morning with a little whiskey in her coffee. She read National Geographics, and books by Larry McMurtry, and pined for Texas even though she didn't want to go back. She went to the Melrose Diner when she had no coffee in the kitchen. She bought a ticket to Mexico when someone at work pointed out it had been too long (four years). She quit her job. She went to Mexico and had six amazing days that led to something truly wonderful. She came back to Philadelphia, sold everything she owned but the things she really loved.

 It is true, you have to be house proud. I will miss this house. Saying goodbye to the Rosewood house tonight.....

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