I’ve always bruised easily. I’m anemic and lazy about it, and more often than not I’m sporting a bruise with an origin I cannot recall or explain. Whatever occurred was either minor or fleeting, and the pain is forgotten until this mysterious splotch appears, and then it seems to be all I can think about. I constantly bump it and cringe, fresh waves of discomfort which warrant much more attention than the original wound.
My mom just told me that she and her husband Ron (only to be said in the same tone as Kenneth the page from 30 Rock when referencing his mom and her Ron) are selling the house in Perryville. I’ve known for some time that this would happen; it was inevitable, but it always felt like a distant future inevitability. I never expected or even wanted her to hold onto the house forever. It seems selfish and wasteful to even think such a thing, just leaving a house to sit empty. I just expected it to take longer. The basement was an absolute wreck, the yard was in bad shape, there is still a piano in my old room and prom dresses hanging in my old closet, and who really has time to handle all the things that go along with making a house sale ready? But apparently the time has come.
It isn’t like it feels like a home anymore, anway. It’s empty, and sad, and it seems as though the only things left serve as reminders of why no one is there anymore. Various things of Dad’s are still on shelves in his old closet. Nothing meaningful or keep-worthy, just things you don’t quite know what to do with; old lighters and irrelevant bank paperwork, maybe a pair of shoes. Things that would be tossed without a thought if they were my possessions and I was cleaning out a closet or getting ready to move. Things that only seem to take on meaning once a person is gone. The objects themselves have no inherent value, not monetary or sentimental, but it seems weirdly wrong to just throw them out with the expired food and paper towels used for cleaning. But I digress.
My father’s father built that house. My dad lived there from childhood till death, building onto the original structure as the family grew. My sisters and I grew up there. We each had a tree in the yard that our dad planted specifically for us. It was a hub for slumber parties that weird summer when my parents always seemed to be traveling. I had my heart broken for the first time on that front porch. I got my one and only remaining scar on those back steps, when I didn’t know better than to try to pick up the dropped dog biscuits in the presence of Peaches, the meanest cocker spaniel to ever live. They weren’t all good memories, to be sure, but most of my growing up memories involved that house and that yard.
To be fair, it isn’t like I visit Perryville with any kind of frequency. I don’t care to spend time there; it doesn’t call to me like home used to. One of the very first things I see every time I go back is the Thomas G. Tucker Memorial sign on the bypass. I am no longer close with anyone who still lives in Perryville. My family tends to gather at my sister’s place in Ballwin for holidays.
I don’t know what exactly it is that bothers me about the idea of the house being gone. It’s like I’m trying to grab onto something that’s been gone for years, and I’m only now noticing it. But whatever the rhyme or reason, this is a bruise that I just keep bumping, and I’m surprised I didn’t notice it sooner.


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