Homes so cozy the walledness of them, the roofedness, creating inside, creating privacy, creating spaces to express our personalities, creating color schemes, creating places to dust, creating finds from our pasts, discoveries for our children to make. Dwellings that envelop us, separating us from the universe, helping us window-scan the not-us, situating sky, clouds, streets, trees, lawns, people…
We could try looking at them as if from outer space. Or, at least as though in some future history: walls cracked like eggs and devoured by 500 year Godzilla floods, sliding downstream, buried in mud, churned up, earthquaked, blown apart by hurricanes, felled like mountains of trees by erupting volcanoes, burnt down to chimney bricks.
But we can’t even decide what we’d grab from the hypothetical list that never actualizes into a suitcase by the door because that suitcase would invite disaster, and—filled with doppelgangers—flummox our routines, mushrooming until it burst its seams. And because what we really want to take is the flush of morning sun on our bedroom walls, evening lamplight gentled over our books at the center of the surrounding dark, headlights wheeling over our ceilings.
We know, if given minutes, we’d run from room to room blubbering with indecision. Our papers in the stumble-heavy fire box—or would it outlast the present catastrophe? these boots good for walking on glass or lava or ash? the three shelves of photo scrapbooks, or the external hard drives we never finished putting the photos on? flash drives? or the whole PC?
When we’re quiet dust in urns at the back of their closets, awaiting scattering, our far-away, too busy children will pay for the clearance agent to disappear all the contents of our houses—selling what can be sold, trashing diaries, photographs, most of the old books. But Nature, more thorough, and angry at us, could take the whole house, and the division, and the town, smashing to atoms our lovely illusory solidity—while we still live.