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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Preserving Appearances.....

Sheets of plywood lie unused and piled high in the garage just as I had remembered. Nails purchased were now rusted and sprawled out across the aged and pitted concrete floor beneath my feet. An old but sound hammer lay poised but never used. The wood now split, rotten and covered in dust is merely used to support other casual collectibles and junk, so invaluable, that it hardly justifies their continued preservation.

But, all things have value to those who treasure nothing.

Walking around this old garage as a child I felt nothing but neglect. Never once was I content nor happy here in this abandoned refuge. The faded orange paint was just as tired and unwelcoming as I felt the majority of the time living in this place. Afraid of the tattered wooden door that had rotten past the point of providing security, loose wooden strips were all that remained to provide the framework. Holes and decay had rotten its outside surface and it shook like a dried-out corn husk in late December when you attempted to push against it.

The twin garage doors which were supposed to house vehicles never functioned in the nearly two decades of my existence living at that home. Instead of repairing the defunct and decayed pieces, mere cover-up and facade building was in order. Pieces of new wood and brick were simply stacked in front of the decay. Even as a child, I was certain that this was only done to enhance the view from the street. One could surmise quite assuredly, that this was not the only part of this home that was receiving that same unique form of touch-up.

The decay ran deep in this family but there was always something that could cover it up to preserve appearances. After all, no one could know the truth. Not even those who resided here.

If imaginable, the sides and rear of the garage were in far worse shape. The wooden paneling had completely rotted at the ground and access for stray mice and cats were in abundant supply. I will attest that I often wondered with the rampant termite, rodent and weather damage how this building ever maintained structural stability at all. Figuring that the sense of malevolence that permeated from all aspects of this property was probably strong enough to overcome mere physics, I allowed my reckless thoughts to wander elsewhere.

Standing inside the garage, I always felt the same dark, cold presence of evil. Hanging in the corner, I would never forget the dusty plastic hanging bags holding my father's military dress uniforms that remained motionless and untouched for my entire span of memories at that home. The bags, opaque and clouded in debris seemed to shroud another lifetime, perhaps even a lifeless body within their wrappings. I was always too freightened to touch, to even come close. I knew that this was just another aspect of my father's life neglected and abandoned to rot in its own painful suffocating demise.

As I learned later in life, those garment bags would not be the only ones hanged in that place.

I tire of appearances merely to hide the truth......
Facades are those foolish enough to believe people don't really know who they are.....
or that people truly care at all in the first place, not busy enough masquerading in their own performances.

Wood.
Nails.
Hands.
Hammer.

You always had the ability to improve, you choose neglect.

Is it not ironic that those same items once sealed the mortal fate of a lowly carpenter?



















1 comment:

Lindylou said...

the lowly Carpenter is the key to life, love and making sense of chaos.