There are a handful of songs that I have to always turn off when they come on. Once in a while though, I will be a few seconds too late and I'll get sucked in. It's a dangerous little mistake. Once in a while I'll let it suck me in and break my heart like it did the first time I heard it. Do you know that feeling...where your entire chest fills up with a terrible ache and a few tears spill over...maybe it's just me? I don't think it is though.
"I know they say you can't go home again"----I spent the first years trying to understand why I couldn't. And now I guess I know why.
"Up those stairs in that little back bedroom"----We didn't have a little back bedroom. The entire second floor was unfinished when we left. But there was a little space behind the walls that surrounded the stairwell. That is where I remember saying my 8 year old goodbyes.
"I thought if I could touch this place or feel it...This brokenness inside me might start healing"----I thought this so many times. So many times I have imagined going up to the door and asking if I could just look around one more time. Who does that though? And part of me knew it was better to leave it alone. For a lot of years I would have dreams at night about walking through the house, memorizing where everything was. The insignificant things, the closet where the vacuum cleaner was kept. That little thing in the back yard off the house that was covered with shingles that I don't even know what it is, I just remember it and how it felt to step on it. The closet where the washer and dryer were. The bathroom cabinets. The countertops. The windows. Where the phone was. Even now I remember our phone number from when we lived there. Just wanted to remember. Walking barefoot on the gravel to the mailbox. The daisies that grew along the edge of the woods. The tree with the spikes on it. The huge sunset from the end of the road over the field. The time we hard a garden and there was a spider on the cornstalk.
"Nail by nail and board by board"----Admittedly I have a freakishly random long term memory. Among those are visits to see the house as it was being built. There may have been faults, but none of that matters, it's not the point. One of those old random memories was standing on the front porch and watching. Then being allowed to walk through the house on some blue stuff that was laid out on the floors. I still remember how lucky I felt to be allowed to walk through our newborn house. Near the end, I remember overhearing the conversation that we were moving and then sitting in a chair in the front of the house as people were about to come through for an open house or a showing...I remember being so angry at a little boy who was looking through the front door of my house.
"From the house that built me"----I just remember feeling freer there and more peaceful than I ever did after.
"The House That Built Me". The first time I heard it, I knew it was one of those dangerous songs. Of course I had nothing to do with it, but in a way I felt like I'd waited my whole life for someone else to feel that way enough to write it down. It's a silly attachment really. A house. It's just a house. It doesn't know you, and it's just a silly little unrequited love.