I slept over at my mum's house for the first time since I left it. Strangely, I found that I didn't really miss being there. Maybe that was because I had to sleep on the couch and she was her same-old self that made me want to leave in the first place, but I think it's a good sign.
It was fucked though. I've lived in that house practically my whole life, and the whole time I just felt like I was in a stranger's house, albeit a stranger's house where I knew where everything was. It was kind of sad, really. I guess that chapter of my life is completely over.
I used to have horrible dreams about having to leave the house. I'd come home and all my belongings were gone, and we had to find a new house. It looked like it had when we first moved in: white walls, linoleum floor, bare rooms. It was always very traumatic to think I'd never come back.
I actually can remember what the house was like the first time we saw it. I think I was only about 3 years old, and we had just driven across the country from Toronto. I walked around on my own a bit, and it all looked so big! That's obviously because I was only 3 and the whole place was sans clutter, but still, I just remember being so impressed with it's vastness.
I know everything about that house. I know which stairs creak, and how to sneak soundlessly down them on Christmas morning to check out all the presents before mum and dad woke up. I know which heaters were broken, and which one was always the best one to stick your wet shoes by (the one in front of the stairs). I can pick out the sound of our gate slamming shut from all the others.
I know what the wind sounds like as it howls down the trails. I know where Rachel and Peter and I buried that dead bird that mysteriously wound up in our front yard, and which tree was the best for climbing. I know (through trial and error) how steep the path behind my house was, and that you should never stand on the back of a tricycle and go careening down it.
Clearly, I'm reminiscing about my childhood home, and it's very sad. I had a lot of crazy adventures in the forests and trails with the rest of the neighbourhood hoodlums. One time, we tried to make maple syrup by picking sticky sap off of trees and mixing it with boiling water. Another time, while playing on the merry-go-round that used to be in the playground (when there was a playground), we found a wooden... thing. It was like an African mask, but miniature and on a string, and we all thought it was cursed.
Oh my god! I just remembered the rock that was in the little copse of trees behind Diana's house, where we used to play house! There was this tree that grew weird pods and had little shriveled beans inside them. Oh man, we used to run all around that little area. Wow, I'd completely forgotten. It's very different looking now. They got rid of a lot of the old places I used to play as a kid.