The rain slides down the windshield as my car descends from the drive. My eyes are drawn to the sign on the house that reads, “For Rent. 4 Bedrooms plus Bonus Room.” My childhood home – described in seven words or less. This will be, perhaps, the last time I visit this house. I’m feeling melancholy, but I blame it on the rain. It cannot be the building. This house doesn’t contain my joyful childhood memories. Just the opposite – this edifice contains the memories of a child who felt unloved, a childhood of relative loneliness and much sadness; a childhood that spawned an adult who doesn’t feel whole. Strangely, it is, however, the house in my dreams. Twenty years after escaping it, it’s in my dreams when I dream of “home”. I’m not sure why I dream of this dwelling and not my current happy home– perhaps because my psyche, my baggage and my unhealed wounds were all born here, under this roof.
I wish the final closing of the front door and turning of the key could be a cleansing of sorts – a closing of a chapter. It isn’t – It’s all done so matter-of-factly. I don’t think twice as I walk away and yet, the sign catches my eye – my life, my childhood – for rent.