Our first move in 23 years. Almost one month on and I’m starting to think about the home we left, which I can still see across the street from my living window. I’m not big on change. I never have been. I like the reassuring familiarity of routine. So while moving across the street would not really constitute a big move in other people’s books, it has been, for me, a giant leap of faith into the unknown. I’ve left a home and moved into a house in the hopes of making another home as loved as my last.
23 years. That’s almost my whole life. It is in fact, all the life I can remember. 23 years in a 2 bedroom flat on the third floor. A room with a balcony from which I saw the world change. If walls had ears, then that home has heard the story of my life.
I miss my home -the sounds of doors closing furtively to catch a movie on a school night, loudly to the shouts of arguments that needed to be shut out. I miss the door to my room which was never thick enough to keep the loud music from escaping, but enough to keep the world out. I miss the kitchen door which was never shut, and more the object of a shoving contest when trying to keep my brother out of the kitchen. I miss the toilet door, even the one that held us captive when the key wouldn’t turn in its lock. I don’t know if I miss the main door to the house, though… Not thick enough to keep out the voices of rowdy neighbours’ children yelling on a summer afternoon but thin enough to let out the wafting smells of mum’s amazing cooking, not thick enough to muffle the pounding but thin enough to hear the sound of the elevator landing and the jingle of house keys. It never opened fast enough when we were hot and tired and hungry and it didn’t close fast enough when we needed it to the most. That door was not the fortress wall I had thought it was. I miss the tinted glass door to my brother’s open air aquarium of a bedroom the most. It was a silent door that opened up to an image I don’t soon want to forget. It opened up to a friend, gaming with my brother, the requisite jellybeans and Snickers bars on the table between them. It opened up to a lot of laughter when my home felt like a tomb. It opened up to lots of lame jokes, Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies turned into comedies, “Dude, sweet!”s , pizzas and birthday surprises. I miss opening that door.