I drove past The House last week.
It's the house that haunts my dreams, it is always in a different state of disarray, but the giant upstairs filled with rooms is consistent. There is always a cubby that has a hole that opens into a vast cavernous attic filled with cloth draped furniture and chests. In each of my dreams, when I am showing someone the cubby that opens into the attic I say: "This is where we go to hide from the Nazi's."
Which just goes to show that I was profoundly affected by Anne Frank's diary when I read it at the age of twelve.
The house is The House that I have compared to visiting the old lady in the trees with my best friend. It's the house where I mixed my dreams and hid from my brother.
I have been dreaming of this house for years. Each time my plan for my life frays in the least bit: each time I realize that I am rowing but despite my effort the river is still taking me where it wants me to go; I dream of the house.
Sometimes in the dream, the house looks pretty good on the outside but the inside has been gutted and is ready for a remodel. Sometimes we move into the house and I am aware that it is woefully inadequate--the fact that the holes in the floor boards are big enough to swallow a child trouble me. Sometimes I pack my family up and we walk directly past all of the shambles that was the actual house and we move directly into the Nazi attic. Once inside the Nazi attic we discover there is a garden that needs watering and that all of the beds are actually brand new; which is most fortunate as the house was abandoned fifty or more years ago.
I drove past the house to see what it looked like now;it's been a few years since I visited her. From the road she looks like this:
She was there last year--she was slumping more. No remnants of paint remained. The chimney had fallen. All of the windows were gone. The dormers were sliding like the eyebrows of an elderly lady at her husbands funeral. Her foundation had crumpled enough that her left side was dissolving into the earth.
But she was still there.
From the road? There isn't a hint that she ever existed.
Now that my reality knows that she is gone: where will my subconscious find a new Nazi attic?