WE BELONG THERE

Warning: I was in a Miranda July mood and I haven’t written a story or anything like that in ages so here is the beginning of my writing random things again career don’t judge me yo.

FEMALE (like a fairytale narrator): There is a white house, it is made of wood, and the paint is peeling, exposing the rough brown surface within. The house is slowly being consumed by plants and ivy. Purple wisteria stems weave up the sides of the house. The front porch is bare and stained, as though there was once furniture occupying it. A small sandy path winds from the bottom of the porch steps to the gravel road ahead. There is nothing surrounding the house but open fields and tall grasses. Some dandelions are scattered in the front yard. A rotting picket fence surrounds the house; it is contorted and misshapen, and many of the posts are crooked or hanging limp on their wires. The windows of the house are browning and some are cracked or broken. The shutters are hanging on their hinges loose and limp. A small garden grows near the street side of the fence. There are a few flowers, but the rest is overcome with weeds. The sandy, dirt path meets the gravel road just outside of the fence. There is nothing across the street but open space, and down each end of the road is a light scattering of trees; the beginnings of the forest. The back of the house is overgrown, the back screen door has been punched through, and the yard is nothing but weeds and overgrown grasses. There is a sense of beauty surrounding the sadness. The house is permanent. It belongs there.

MALE: How can you love someone you don’t know? I know that I’ve been where you are. And I can’t find the right way to tell you that. I‘m caring about you in a way that I’ve never cared about anyone. The past is one of those things I don’t want to talk about with you. He’s always going to beat me. The only thing I have on him is what he did to you. That was cruel, terrible. But I know part of you wants to forgive him because he saved you. Isn’t that it? I wonder why he did it. Is it for the same reason I would? Because he wanted to know something else.

One year, a terrible storm hit the house. The ivy held on to the peeling paint on the wooden walls so tight that when the ivy fell, some of the paint peeled with it. The trees and grasses were thrashing and the house could barely stand on its own. When the storm ended, and the grasses dried up, so did the ivy, and the house looked naked and lonely.

Maybe if I ignore you for long enough, you’ll disappear and I won’t want you anymore and everything will just be better that way. I’ll be a superhero. I always imagined being a superhero growing up. The sense of freedom and beauty and magic always brought me to a beautiful place where nothing hurt. I wish that place was real. These places are not real because if they were we wouldn’t be able to dream about them. Have you ever noticed that things never look quite the same in our dreams? Maybe that’s why the most beautiful things are so hard to find in real life. They’re hidden so we can dream about them.

The house slowly fell apart. The vines took over. The house nearly collapsed under its own weight. The ivy’s elegant nature made the house appear luxurious and royal. No one noticed the house suffocating under the gripping thorns before, but now it was free. It didn’t seem free. It seemed bare. The floorboards were worn. The windows broken.

Maybe that’s why it’s hard for us to know each other. What we might be together is so beautiful that if it were real, we couldn’t dream about it anymore.

In the year after the storm, the house was rebuilt several times, refurnished, reconstructed, so many times until the house barely looked like itself anymore. It was nearing Christmas now, and the storm’s damage still lingered around the house.

I wonder if you think about this stuff as much as I do. Probably not, people always say I have an overactive mind. They’ll wish they did when they get old and forgetful I guess. Sometimes I think about this whole chunk of life that I am probably missing out on because you aren’t here. Maybe when you come, that chunk of life that bears upon my mind will disappear and it will seem like we have always been with one another. Maybe that’s how that works.

After years of being unoccupied, the house continued to wither away once more. It looked lonely and desolate. Two families moved in, but both left as quickly as they came. One day, a simple boy moved into the house. He did minor repairs each week, fixed one floorboard here, planted three rose bushes there, until the house was once again beautiful. The house looked perfect, as it had when it was just built. The stains were still on the porch, the grasses still tall and winding, but a sense of magic was restored to the house upon his arrival.

At least I get to see you soon. I think I’ve missed you. Can you miss someone you don’t know? Our separation wasn’t our choice but it never is.  That’s how life is I guess. It is the destiny of certain people to never meet. Somewhere, someone was born and that person is destined to never meet me, simply because that is how it is with us. It’s pretty tragic actually. We are not like that though. We were destined to never meet, but circumstances brought us together, I think. For some reason, I feel like whatever I say to you is okay. Let’s meet on Sunday. I know this weird old house down our street and I like to go there and fix things up. You should come. You would like it there.

I’m very excited to finally meet you. And yes, I know that house. I think we belong there. 

Published by

Miranda Feneberger

Miranda Feneberger

In the middle of an existential crisis. If you have one of those super long phone chargers can you send it to me?