Home Alone

This post and its comments were originally published on Transformation City Church’s blog.


The wind blows from its diaphragm and the trees do the wave like a crowd at a sports game. For a moment I marvel at the movement; it’s paradoxically collective and individual. It would be maddening to animate. Maybe this is why there aren’t many animated movies starring trees.

For three days the housemates have been at a conference. Every day I have the same conversation with a different kid, or the same kid. “Where Kevin at?” they ask. “At a conference.” I answer. “Where Ben and Megan at?” They ask. “At the same conference.” I answer. They walk away.

The conference is hosted by the Christian Community Development Association, and I was invited, but I declined. It’s held in Indianapolis. Indianapolis, Minneapolis…what stupid names. “Welcome to the city of the state we live in.” That’s more Original than Werther’s! Oh I know, there are several Greek scholars who could expound on Polis in terms of Philosophy and History, but I would get angry and argue with them, and then gyros would be ruined, ruined, and I don’t know why that matters since I don’t eat gyros due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

A chill tickles my spine but I refuse to go inside and put on a sweater because I would soon take it off. Tonight is the restless middle child of summer and autumn; so desperate is its desire for approval, and its denial of it, I am almost moved to pity, but move past it to repulsion.

On the curb, several stacks of furniture and garbage form makeshift memorials, commemorating those who have recently moved out – people of various sizes and textures, each one of them a feature in the topography. Opening the door to my car, sometimes I patted a hand on the kids’ heads, waved a hand at the adults. Closing the door to my room, I laid hands on the keyboard.

A friend calls. I do not answer. They leave a voicemail. I listen to it: “I’m feeling lonely, but that’s not your fault.”

Across the street I see a man on his front porch holding a cell phone. I wonder if he sees me.

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