Friday, April 18, 2014

No Direction Home 

Today I dropped by my new place for a quick look around before I take possession.

The previous owners were still finishing up moving out so it looked messy and depressingly small. I had to feel for them as they weren't able to find another house by the closing date and are renting an apartment temporarily. The whole reason they sold their home was to get a bigger place as they are expecting their first child.

I was a bit trepidatious. As soon as the door opened I felt a slight chill. The rooms seemed smaller. The ceilings seemed lower. I felt like a giant in this tiny house somehow. I knew it would look bad – houses always look their worst in that state - near the end of packing with boxes strewn beside an orphaned mattress on the floor. The realtor asked me what I was thinking probably sensing disappointment and I lied and said I couldn’t wait to get it set up for myself. I even agreed it seemed smaller but that was okay as I was a little worried about having a whole house to clean. He continued to reassure me of how lucky I had been to find such a gem of a place at that price. Essentially, the scale of buying a house means the proportionate “Buyer's Remorse” is enormous compared to, ”I really shouldn't have bought those skinny jeans.” So, yes, I was a little deflated by reality.

In truth, all I could think about was running away. My mind drifted to thoughts of summer, not on my own deck, but on the bike, riding along a leafy, tree-lined country road.

Not too surprisingly, I had the same thought yesterday when I dropped off the frightening and massive cheque to the lawyer. It cost $7 to get a bank draft for what was an enormous sum of money (well, it is for me). I felt so vulnerable riding my bike through the streets with this cheque in my coat pocket.

From the lawyer’s office you can see the roof of the old Maple Leaf Gardens. He said he can hardly look at it thinking of what they’ve done to it. It’s now a Loblaws Superstore. Then I mentioned how my brother and I went to see a Cubs game in Chicago at Wrigley and how great it was. We talked about the Leafs and the Blue Jays and what the old field down at the Exhibition grounds was like. We both agreed we liked old shabby stadiums with history better than shiny new ones. Then we started to talk about how few old ball parks and arenas were left which led me to thinking about a road trip to Boston to catch a game at Fenway.

In my mind I was already skipping over the packing, the arrangements, the moving, the unpacking and that first uncomfortable night in a new place or worse, that feeling of the first morning not really sure where you are or if there’s any toilet paper in the bathroom – or where the bathroom is for that matter. Is there someone out there who would do all that for you while you just go away for a vacation? You could leave for two weeks and come home to your new address. Your books where you like them to be, your clothes in the closet, your favourite chair waiting for you. There probably is and they probably charge more than I paid for the house.

This is who I am. The unadventurous one. One of the not-so-crazy-ones. The boy who hated the first day of school. The man who hates the first day at a new job. I’m that guy. That guy who would rather just stay on the couch as long as that couch is somewhere familiar. But what is familiar? Nothing is familiar, until it is. Then you’re home. Here’s to home; a familiar place in the future.



Post a Comment

<< Home