I’d like to thank Lindy Cameron, for hosting me on her site today as part of the Bywater Blog Tour: Lindy Cameron’s Blog. The one I wrote for her, and the one I’ve written here, function in tandem. You know, sort of.
I was standing in front of the wood stove. We’d been in the house for five minutes, long enough to see his tribal artifacts, his clay-colored paint, the utility of the rooms. Long enough to see there wasn’t a bathtub, and so Mary would never agree to live in this house. Heather, our real-estate agent, and one of my favorite humans, walked in from the kitchen to say, “This house is so you. My god.” She wandered back out, and I looked at my shoes. We’d only just begun searching. Our fourth house, maybe. It felt like meditation, this house. It felt like prayer.
Mary walked into the room. I could see her black stompy boots. And I felt myself steel against the inevitable refusal. The “it’s perfect, except” comment. She said, “How set are you on more kids?”
I looked up at her. “But there’s no bathtub.”
She nodded. “I love this house.”
It’s the thing nobody articulates, the thing we don’t know how to articulate: the person you love, the person you intend to spend your life with, your values have to match up. Not be modified so that they match up, but actually match up. How much shit do you need? Are you buying piles of new clothes, and driving a new car, and watching cable television? Do you shop at box stores? Do you read books? Do you espouse pacifism but kick people around to get your way? Do you believe education will save us? Will you fight for women? Will you nurture children, the ones born to you, and the ones born to others? Do you see the value in a simple life? Do you see value?
Sometimes I stand in our house by the wood stove and remember the way her stompy boots cut through my vision. The way her question promised a whole life.