“It’s messier than when I lived here, don’t you think?”
I laughed a little. Everything was similar to how it was at the beginning. Dust had settled on the blue sheet covering the outdoor couch. Fit for cat use only. Shoe racks were orderly but dirt covered the outdoor tiles. We worked hard to clean the back porch. I mostly did my own nesting but after a good feed, the housemates who didn’t do much on their own accord complied willingly if I handed one a mop and another a vacuum.
“We were all just renting a room so it didn’t matter.”
The lock on the back door was still broken. The kitchen lights were off and the dining table looked largely unused. Our female bathroom was as fresh as ever – the work of two long-stayers who religiously cleaned this part of the house (but only this part) several times a week. The living area sprouted little piles of books, equipment, craft material, paper, and such again. The futility of trying to chuck out junk and store things somewhere, anywhere, other than the floor!
“But when you came, something changed in the air.”
Where rent is extraordinarily high, sharing is a cheap option. Throughout the week I liked choosing between different cosy-but-tidy corners of the house to curl up in with my laptop. I cooked to share but reaped more bread (and salmon) than I casted. I wasn’t specifically looking for friends but food and proximity were wonderful ingredients for friendship. To put it in my friend’s words, I can “superficially perform” socially, but warm up slowly to people. On the whole I’m partial to the people (and pets) that I’ve lived with.
“It’s hard to explain.”
So it wasn’t exactly benevolent. I had my own reasons and may have lived exactly the same way whether I believed in God or not. But my heart wouldn’t have been the same. There’s so many things I wouldn’t have bothered with if I wasn’t concerned about “who is my neighbour?” and, “what does love look like?”
“When I came back to the house… it felt like I was coming home.”
Wow, that’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard. How about now? Do I treat the family home as a house or home? Love – the closer it is, the harder it gets.