Friday, August 28, 2009

The Long Wait

So I'm back in school again. For the first time in 16 years. I'm trying to become a nurse.
Because no one else is doing that right now.

Below is what happens when I sit in a boring psych class and start thinking about the empty houses dotting the street where I now live--- (wait for it...)---with my parents. I didn't take any notes on that blowhard Freud. But I did write this blog about a spider I spotted while wandering through one of five empty homes in this cul-de-sac, which I just found out means 'blind alley'.

Go figure.

The writing is rusty and aimless. But then, so am I.


I’ve been hanging around in this corner for some time now. Not sure how long really, as the people haven’t shown up with their couches, their cutlery or their calendars. It may have been a week. Could have been a month. Your guess is as good as mine.

The last person to grace these now dusty halls left a trail of muddy boot-prints from foyer to fridge. The big man with the starched white shirt and worn blue jeans sat on the bottom step of that staircase, just over there, his jaw hung on his thumbs, battered index fingers cupping his nose in a little steeple.

This is the church. These are the people. Open it up, and here’s all the people.

He never really said it out loud, but I know he was wishing for the people. Or one person… to buy this house. He has other houses on this street. They haven’t sold yet either. I know because he used to come here with his outdated adding machine and clackety-clack-clack-clack his way into the souless corners of night…crunching numbers and muttering at his blueprints and bank statements until the automatic sprinklers sprung to life in the early dawn.

He doesn’t do that anymore.

And so I sit on these silk strands. And I wait. And stare at the footprints as they flirt and fade with dancing dust motes.

This house waits too. It doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. The refrigerator enthusiastically hums and the air-conditioning faithfully churns and the electricity relentlessly electrifies. But no one is around to be wowed by it or care. Or admire the new Berber carpet on the stairs which I never really liked anyway but nobody asked my opinion.

I’m a rather silent and uninspiring audience. The house has made it quite clear that it is most certainly not here for me. And still.

On Monday it rained, and the bay window facing the front lawn buckled under the pressure and started to leak. As it wept, I traversed the mind-numbingly boring expanse of eggshell paint to sip and “survey the area,” as the big man would have said.

It doesn’t look good. Not good at all. The people, or the one person, who will come to see this house will not be pleased when he steps through that front door and sees this mess. I drank as much as I could, but I’m not that large. I barely made a dent in that vast pool.

Perhaps it will evaporate before the people come. Maybe the floor will dry and the ring on the wood will fade and it will be just as pretty as it was when the boiterous team of sun-scorched men nailed it down a year, (or was it only two months?) ago.

I guess I’ll just sit here.

And wait.
-Tara Callahan


  1. Actually the writing just keeps getting better - hope nursing works for you, lord knows you are right and you will be needed which is a much more ambigiuous concept for writiers.

  2. I can't tell you how happy I am that you're writing here. I'm officially subscribed on Google Reader.

    I've missed you, missy!