Highgate

Friday

Migration

I only had one thing on my list of to do's today, and that was to drive up to Highgate and get my blank checks that were sent to my P.O. Box up there. It was the perfect day for a drive, dark and drizzly; Eva gave me a set of little speakers to hook my Zen up to; I was ready for a little driving and smoking; it has to be one of my all-time favorite activities, just that minor sensation of temporary freedom; that you're transitioning and traveling from one place to the next, that this in between time is mine for however long. Outside locations pass by and new ones come up, and pass again; and I would imagine this is as close to meditation as I can get, at least right now in my life.

When I got up to the store, I found my checks, finished up my bills and pet my old dog Bean for a while; Across the driveway sits my old house and I had time to kill before I had to be back to Burlington to eat lunch with Sarah and everyone. No ones lived there for a few years, my father moved in with her girlfriend, me and my sister live here in town; so now it just sort of sits there, mostly empty with a few random chairs and miscellaneous junk scattered around. Once a year or so I get the key and head over there and poke around for a while; opening drawers and checking cabinets. I usually make my way up to my old bedroom which is nothing more than a pile of clothes and books and papers. So I thought, well I've got some time; and maybe I can find a tape deck for my truck while I'm over there, and usually I find sometime of passing interest, a favorite book, a CD that I haven't listened to in years or a picture that I forgot was ever taken.

Everytime I walk in the place I'm always struck by how sad it feels; I can remember and JB can attest that their was a lot of good time in this place. This wasn't one of those homes that look really nice and clean and kept; there was always dog hair on every couch, cupboards left open, food out, dishes in the sink, books and random things everywhere; it was a functional home; though not entirely functional even then; my dad did most of the work on a renovation in the early 90's and there were always random switches and outlets that never worked or switched properly; some were upside down. Though he did try to incorporate some novel ideas that, at least for the area hadn't been widely attempted before; all the doors (to the bathroom, mud room etc.) all slid into the wall (like on star trek.) though he never got around to putting locks or handles on them so there was always a lot of embarrassing bathroom walk-ins; He did successfully install a central vacuum cleaning system; which I thought was outrageous; but I also used to ask to go to the bank whenever anyone went cause I loved to watch that pipe suck deposits up through that tube; seemed so futuristic...

But now there wasn't much of anything; I headed upstairs and kicked around in my room; I found a nice old wool blanket; a jacket and and sweatshirt. I found a time capsule that me and my first friend Adrian made in the fourth grade; I'd opened it up once before, and since the seal had been broken everything inside had molded and disintegrated; I pulled out scraps of paper with some writing I couldn't read, a painting that had fallen apart into many pieces, the only thing that was still intact was four action figures from the old cartoon MASK.

I dug out some old photos that were stacked neatly in the back of my closet like I had put them there for some important reason; one that I suppose wasn't important enough to remember now; one was of my parents at their wedding; the other one of me wearing a "Missisquoi Hockey" sweatshirt and another of me my father and my sister down in the basement; I think we were helping him load the wood furnace.

The ride back to Burlington was quiet and I didn't listen to anything; just smoked cigarettes. The process of driving to Highate always feels like I'm shedding layers, and the return trip leaves me feeling a bit raw. I have this past that I barely remember; and because of circumstances most of the things that cause me to remember are boxed away somewhere, or strewn about my abandoned house; I didn't have a bad childhood; I had a great childhood, I just wish I could remember more of it.

When I got back into town I had to force myself to go out to meet Sarah and everyone. I wasn't feeling so talkative, nor was I feeling bad, just confused; in my mind I kept rolling over thoughts and pictures; emotional triggers. The pine tree forest out back, the barn, the Methodist church next door, the store, my mom, my dad, our dogs and the trees on the front lawn; crab apple tree, lilac bushes and two maple trees, the dirty basement, the cramped attic with the itchy fiber glass insulation. None of which really added up to anything more than broad sweeps of texture and emotion.

I finally made myself go to lunch and it was good thing I did, my friends always re-enforce me and instill me with warmth and by the end of lunch I was right as rain again.

3 comments:

The Le Duo said...

what happened to my comment?

Tmoore said...

i noticed that - for some reason it got deleted; the servers were down yesterday for a while; i think a few other comments got deleted to; probably just randomly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming to lunch Tanner. It was fun to see you. Even more fun watching you open your time capsule!
-srb