I liked the House. We rented, so it wasn’t really “ours.” I felt it didn’t let a lot of light in. Its layout wasn’t particularly sensible, not with a wall partially dividing the living room space. We never used the fireplace, so one year the bees took over until we drove them away. But there were these cylindrical nooks and crannies under the awning of the house where the sparrows and their kin lived. In the morning, I would hear them chirping, their feathery bodies scraping the wall through the inside my closet. At night, it was the sound of their wings and quick movements as I closed my eyes. Also, too, were the squirrels that liked to eat ripe oranges from our tree as they sat on the wall, ever ready to run to safety. Tearing the orange peel from the fruit, all that would be left over when they finished were confetti pieces of peel littering the wall and rocky ground. Once in a while, a squirrel could be seen laying flat on its stomach to let off heat. Finally, in our backyard there were two mourning doves the color of mud that would occasionally show up – always as a couple – pecking along the dirt and around the rose bushes on the terraced wall until taking flight, one after the other.
The House was creaky. The hood range was nonexistent. The cabinets were outdated. The piping was old. Yet, there was a tree in the front yard that changed its leaves with the seasons. There was a palm tree in the backyard where squirrels climbed. There was a room big enough for me, one for my parents, and a spare one for my dad’s library of books. I dug up dirt in the backyard to garden. I posted posters and inspirational articles on the walls in my room. I hung up clothes hangers from the hooks randomly protruding from the ceiling all throughout the house. And sometimes, I sat on the carpet in introspection as the mid-afternoon light streamed through the plastic blinds. In the quiet moments, I was home.