The scene of the grime

Picked clean like a well gnawed chicken bone, early memories stowed away in timecapsule tat, flogged to highest bidder as vintage household… Venetician blinds raised high and skewed, giving unobstructed views… The rear garden visible from the pavement out front. An angular awkwardness, a refusal to sit straight, a reflex reaction to being forced open after more than four decades of closed repose undisturbed since they were locked down after she left… Unloved and loveless backdrop where my childhood briefly dwelt turned weekend detention centre when they split. I remember the Sunday afternoon when everything changed, being told to wait in the car whilst they argued inside the house. The happiness I felt leaving. Having the decision of who I’d live with made for me, meant no more interrogations about who I’d choose… It was a question I’d always met with silence as my young mind knew quite clearly that I could please neither but anger both of them if I replied truthfully that I wanted to live on my own.

I feel no sorrow for his death. No grief… No joy… If anything then maybe the feeling I used to get when I got to the last page of a badly written book that a few pages in, I’d decided I didn’t care for but pressed on with hoping it would get better… Page after page until oh thank fuck for that! It’s over! I’ll never have to pick that up again. Happily I’m beyond the point now where I decided life is too short to finish something lack lustre just because you started it…

I took the last visit ‘home’ to visually seal shut that chapter, like a nautilus’s chamber where old growth becomes buoyancy for moving forwards… I was glad that those bricks and crumbling mortar were not my mess to fix… Nodding to the cliché that it was much smaller than I remembered, I allowed myself an idle fleeting daydream of dowsing the lot with petrol and tossing in a lit match… Instead I walked away laughing. Laughing that my trash, is my estranged sister’s treasure.

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