One of the fantastic characteristics of my friendship with Poodle is that it withstands neglect. From time to time, one or both of us will get caught up in our careers or projects or fandoms or the business of everyday life, and fail to do the normal everyday friend stuff that sustains a friendship.
But the friendship is still always there. If, after a period of neglect, one of us needs a ride or tech support or fashion advice or non-English proofreading or to be wingmanned to Eddie Izzard, the other's response is always "Of course! Let's make that happen! And how have you been, anyway?" Then we address the issue at hand and catch up on everything else without any resentment or animosity about the period of neglect.
I have a similar relationship with the house where I grew up. I don't go there often, but, when I do, it's always right there for me. My room is still my room. Everything is right where I can find it. It's a constant that has been present for literally my entire life, and I've always been able to rely on it, even when I don't have any immediate need for it.
My parents are planning to sell their house at some point in the next year, and it breaks my heart. This place that has always been there for me will no longer be there for me. The room that has always been mine will no longer be mine. They bought this house for me, in a way. They were living in a very small house and were pregnant with me, so they bought a bigger one to raise kids in. We were the first ones to live there. It hasn't just always been ours, it's only ever been ours. My room has only ever been my mine. It's been a place of safety and refuge forever, and soon it won't be.
At this point, you're probably thinking "So why not make an offer when it goes up for sale?" The irony is, objectively speaking, I don't even like it. It's a house. It has a basement and an attic and a roof and a yard. There's probably a spider somewhere in it right this minute. It's inconveniently located. Basically, I don't want it for the exact same reasons my parents don't, so I can't even blame them.
I stayed over there over xmas, and I found myself getting irritated by it. You have to time having a shower around laundry and dishes and other showers, and the hot water is easily depleted. My bed there has no redeeming qualities. The wind rattles the windows. The air blowing out of the furnace vents has a magical ability to blow directly into my mouth when I'm trying to sleep. From the creaks of the floorboards, you can tell exactly where everyone else in the house is and what they're doing.
When I returned to Toronto, a sense of contentment and belonging came over me as I walked home from the subway, through my own neighbourhood, and turned onto my own street. My face lit up as I walked into my own apartment, as it hasn't done for my childhood home since before I moved out for the first time.
And yet, I still mourn for the loss of my childhood home. My eyes still well up with tears as I write this. In an attempt to comfort myself, I considered the possibility that I might not miss it when it's gone. But that only breaks my heart more.