“Let’s go say goodbye.”, “To the house?”, “To the house.”
It’s dark inside, the fading day is blue, filtered in. The bathroom light a contrasting a vibrant yellow as he goes for a final pee.
I’m glued to the wall, seeing the house spotless for the first time since it was last a house.
We’d made it more. We’d chosen mistmatched glasses, argued over the layout of the couch, compromised, built furniture to accomodate the compromise. We had diner parties, new food, guests, dogs, and sex. Just as we did, it grew, sprawled and settled. It became more than the things we put in it.
But things changed. We changed. What we needed and wanted and were changed. I moved out. He finished the lease. And on the 30th, I came over, scrubbed floorboards and toilets and when I looked up after a few hours, and loaded the cars, and came in to say goodbye to a home, I didn’t find it in there.
The only sound was from the only object - the clock hanging up where we’d removed the nails that the last tenants haphazardly threw in. Me on a chair with the back of a hammer, him with a bowl for the nails. Taking 60 out to put one in for the clock.
He came out of the bathroom, and I pointed out the clock. “I think we forgot something.” “Do you want it?” “I think I like it being here-it fits the place.” “Well it’s always nice to have a clock - if you don’t want it, can I take it?” “Sure.”
The clock kept ticking as he took it down. We closed windows, locked doors. Now, sitting in my lit and full apartment all I can think about is how it must have sounded as we closed the door and the ticking faded away.