The Play House  



When i'm dropped at the entrance to our neighbourhood, i can smell the stink in the air and i marvel how you don't run from the menace of vultures in your front yard. I'm like a mad person, seeing and smelling things that i can’t reconcile with my sense of what is and what i always perceived to be real.


Your house appears to me like pieces of garbage someone has forgotten to clean up. Your street looks like many pieces of garbage that many people forgot to clean up. I stumble as i make my way through the space that holds my refuge and that holds your home. I'm led like a blind person whose eyes flood with a sting caused by the force of the stench.


When i stop feeling anything at all, i know that i have become a different person. I know that all the life that i held before this moment was only a lie kept in place by your reality.


Showing your home, you smile as if embarrassed. I grope for your hand to beg for your forgiveness. I try to say that i should be the one to feel ashamed but no words fall from my stinking mouth.


With a vague sweep of your arm, you point to the pieces of cardboard, plastic garbage bags and occasional slabs of aluminum that you say are so hard to come by and to hold on to. I try to nod, hoping you will understand that i'm fine with who you are, even if i'm not fine with where you are compelled to be.


The lies get stuck in my throat.


Your daughter, as if sensing my inadequacy, takes me by the hand to lead me to where the earth drops into an overhang. Stuck, carefully built, protected in that little womb of earth, with leftovers of your cardboard and plastic bags, stands her replica of how you managed to arrange your life into something called a home. I can only stare until i'm, invited with a kind smile to play house.


Sinking down on my knees, i start to dig the dirt.