On the car ride back from the airport, my mom asked me which room I wanted. I instinctively wanted my room, but I waited for an explanation instead.

“The bed is now in Nicole’s room, and there’s just an air mattress in your room,” she explained, eyes fixed on I-10 and the rain.

“Well, is most of my stuff still in my room?” The bed sort of matters, but I would like to be with my collection of old video games, Dilbert comics, Star Wars books, and other junk that define who I am or, at least, who I was.

“Not really. Most of it is hidden now.” I can understand that. Nothing says classy to prospective house buyers like Star Wars action figures. “Your dresser is in Nicole’s room now, so that will probably be the most convenient.”

I was surprised by the layout of the room when I got here. I shouldn’t have been since I helped to move all of Nicole’s old furniture out when I was here in September. As my mom said, my dresser is now in here, stuffed with my high school t-shirts and other personal effects. The bed and the computer desk I’m using right now are also from my room. I am positive, though, that the throw pillows and lamp were not mine.

The setup is certainly nice. It’s somewhat misleading to say that it’s Nicole room since she hasn’t lived here in about 4 years for more than a couple weeks at a time. I can’t really figure out when it stopped being her room, though, so maybe it still is.

Looking at it now, you would never know that she lived here. As I mentioned, the furniture is all different. Her and my dad’s handiwork in painting the room is covered by a tan-beigeish color that covers most of the rest of the house as well. Even the carpet stain from a painting mishap that I thought would mark this place forever is gone; we replaced the carpeting with hardwood years ago.

The rest of the house has changed just as much. I can still count steps from the top of the stairs to doorways in the dark, but turn on the lights, and I might as well be a stranger. The new fridge is nice, but the new handles on the kitchen drawers feel strange.

It’s the disappearances, not the additions, that surprise me the most. Not only have we removed a ton of junk, we’ve squirreled away most of what makes the house livable. Last night, I was half-way through flossing my teeth when I remembered that I hadn’t seen a trash can anywhere in my room. With the end of the floss still tied around my left index finger, I stumbled into my old room and found the “X-Men” trash can hiding in the corner, without a plastic bag. I took the trash can, then went downstairs to find a bag to line it with.

I knew the leftover “Kroger” plastic grocery bags would be under the sink: where else would anyone ever keep leftover bags? I made it to the kitchen without knocking over any displays and flicked on the lights. Going around the counter, I grabbed the new handle to the cabinet under the sink and didn’t see the mass of plastic bags on the inner left of the cabinet. I knew they were still around. The trash can under the sink had a plastic bag. A search through the washing room cabinets revealed nothing, and I went back and put the floss in the trash can, bagless.

The house feels like something out of a movie. Have you ever really thought about how the house in “Family Guy” is designed? The layout is so simple, but where is the closet with the vacuum cleaner? And how about washrooms on the Enterprise? Captain Kirk probably has to take a washroom break sometime, and if he seriously had to wait for the turbolift to get him to a different deck for him to go, he might just miss a chance to talk a computer to death from the bridge.

Anyways, this is how the house is. My mom told me to not spread my stuff out in case someone comes by to look at the house. That probably means I’ll be living out of my suitcase, which is fine. The house will stay like this until it sells, which also means that I’ll be coming back to Houston for breaks until further notice. Sorry for crying wolf with my blog post about moving, but consider this my lame duck period. Or maybe it’s more like a death bed.

I wasn’t completely lying about it, though: it’s pretty clear that we’ve already moved out of this house.

2 replies on “Homecoming”

“The trash can under the sink had a plastic bag. A search through the washing room cabinets revealed nothing, and I went back and put the floss in the trash can, bagless.”

Why didn’t you throw your floss into the trash can under the sink which has a plastic bag? Why throw it in the bagless trashcan instead of the bagged trashcan?

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