After my mother dropped me off at the new house, I don’t know that I ever saw her again.
I had everything I needed. The house was tall, well built, surrounded by similarly tall, well built houses. I knew that if I ran out of anything here, I could leave, journey over to the neighbouring homes and there would be more.
I almost ate myself out of house and home. I was voracious, like I was eating to fill a part of me that was missing. Only now do I have an idea of what that missing part might be.
I loved it so fearfully. Despite the beauty of my home – floor space galore, fresh air, incredible views – it was filled with poison. Poison that could kill people many times my size. I still hid from them; I didn’t know that I had taken the poison into me. I had the house. It was the perfect place to hide; I felt completely safe there. Like I said, I didn’t know it was poison that kept it standing.
I’m not much for blaming, I don’t think. Despite being a hairless child in a house full of poison, it’s not my parents’ fault. If it is, it’s not like they had a choice. You go about your day-to-day business and it doesn’t leave much brain power to observe the big picture. You start your kids off as best you can – like, I assume, their parents did before them. Like a rocket, you give it fuel and a direction, and once it launches, there’s not much you can do. Parenthood is like launching a rocket from the rocket you’re in. While millions of other rockets are flying and launching their own rockets all around you.
That analogy seems very singular. I don’t think I ever met my dad. I know what my mom did for me. I know what my dad tried not to do for me. I guess he thought not being there was the best thing he could do.
They went on long trips. They invited me to go south, to places very warm. They had been all over. They weren’t afraid to travel. Like I was. Am. I imagine them, their thoughts; they feel safe when they aren’t home. That must be why.
How do I know all this? They left me pictures. Many, many pictures. Pictures that I can see, even when I’m not looking at them. Of them. Of the places they’ve been. Of places I could go too, if I become so inclined.
There’s one picture they didn’t give me. It’s mine. A picture of a new home.
It’s very different than this house. It’s much smaller, a rental really. A bachelor pad, although I’m not thinking of getting married or have even considered what sex I am. And darker. I wouldn’t have the view any more, but it’s okay, I’ve been wanting difference lately. It will still be my home. It will still be safe. More safe. Nobody will accidentally drop by. I’m not planning on telling my mother where it is.
It’ll be quieter. No more yelling coming through the walls, making me hide. My father gave me vigilance. In this new house, I won’t have room for it.
It won’t be permanent, the new place. I’ll grow. That’s what people call it, right? Working on yourself. Growing. A change of location is certainly traumatic enough to affect further change. Or so the pictures tell me.
Everything from other people is just pictures. Flat ideas with a bit of colour. We just give pictures to one another. The only thing that isn’t a picture are the moments of life. They have dimensions. They are multi-sensual.
I think moving to the new place is what I should do.
I don’t know why I think that.
Since it’s so small, I can’t take anything from here to there.
I’ll only take one thing. After all, my mother must have wanted me to have it. She picked this house.
So it’ll just be me and my poison.
And I’ll work on myself. I can see big change ahead of me. It’s just pictures now. But in them I look larger. Blazing. Like I don’t care who sees me. Ha! I don’t even know how I’ll fit in the new place.
Maybe I’ll feel like traveling. Mom and Dad looked happy in the pictures from Mexico.