There is no back door to my parent’s house. As you enter through the front door, the careful arrangement of the l-shaped couch, bay window, coffee table and fireplace sweep you through the emerald carpeted living room to the large circular dining table squashed into the same room as the kitchen, a movement only halted by the large window behind the table which looks out onto the deck and beyond that the backyard.
Only the abrupt ending of the white cabinetry on the wall signals a change from the dining to kitchen area and a large butcher-block divides the flow of traffic. Take the path to the right and pass the refrigerator and the answering machine. Take the left and meet the dishwasher, deep stainless sink then a small corner containing the lazy-susan dreaded by all childhood fingers. Around the corner emerge the microwave, oven and coffeepot before the two paths converge once again.
Walking through the kitchen, you arrive in the hall. This journey takes less than ten steps from the corner from the living room doorway to this pink tiled monstrosity of a hallway, flanked by a large stately grandfather clock and a brushed steel trashcan whose lid is broken. The grandfather clock was made by my great-grandfather and the way it chimes drives my mother up the wall. For that reason, she refuses to keep it wound and it tells time quite poorly. As a child, I was fascinated to find out that other people’s clocks had numbers unlike mine that must have been very special to have letters instead.
The first room off the hallway is at the front of the house, to the right. That was my bedroom. It at one time served as the TV room when the house belonged to my great-grandparents and just after we moved in it was the kitchen while the real one was being tiled. Actually, that ugly pink tile extends from one end of the house to the other, through the hallway back down into the kitchen, dining room then off the stoop into the sun porch. The grout always looks dingy because my mother insisted the mason follow my grandmother’s instruction of spacing them far enough apart so as not to look like linoleum. Of course, this is only natural, ugly peach Spanish tiles look just like linoleum and you wouldn’t want people to get confused.
The bathroom was across the hall from my room. This allowed for quick sprint between the doorways upon return from the shower. A quick check to ensure the coast was clear meant you didn’t even need a towel for that dart and slam of the door. Further down at the end of the hall, between an enormous full-length mirror that threatens to fall on the next rowdy youngster who runs down the hall, sit my sister and my parents’ bedrooms. She really did get the short end of the stick having her bedroom across from theirs.
If, when back in the pseudo dining-kitchenette, you had decided to turn left, you would have stepped down and into the sun-porch, arguably the most pleasant room in the house despite the tile. Sadly, built on a slab of cement, this room has little to offer in the winter. The glass doors surrounding two sides of the room provide little insulation and the heat doesn’t extend into this addition. However, the lumpy couch and gravity defying, top-heavy computer station housing the fuzzy television add unique charm thus making up for January induced blue toes. The small woodstove located in the far corner of the room in the crevice where the two sets of sliding glass doors meet, where bees and spiders take up residence, acts as door itself too. Each year without fail, during the first months of spring, a few sparrows get confused and wind up stuck in the skinny tin chimney. As they fly out of the iron grate, around the sun porch a few times, and finally out one of the doors, it’s momentarily deceptive to say there is no back door to this house.
There is only one door into my parents’ house, but there are two doors through which you can leave.
I feel like all the creative energy that is required to write for this class should be put to other use as well. I’m really proud of my Mistake piece. We discussed how creative nonfiction is judged and I feel like I met a lot of the criteria. I still need to work on some of the wrap up before the conclusions. I’m not too satisfied with tonight’s assignment, but I think the lack of a good inspiration is to blame. Hopefully the next prompt is more stimulating. I don’t want to write about socks or something, although I do have some very adorable noteworthy socks, I’m just sure no one really wants to hear about them in an essay.
I actually do have things of life importance I need to vent about, but I think I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s update in the event I have nothing else of interest to say tomorrow. Expect something pertaining to long and arduous contemplation of how not to take advantage of situations I ought not be putting myself in to begin with. On that tempting note, I’m going to bed.