Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome! hell

Each day, on the way to drop Kai off at preschool, I pass a peculiar little white house. It’s a small ranch home, built in the 1970’s. While a fresh coat of paint wouldn’t hurt it, the siding and the black trim are more faded than cracked or peeling. Here’s the thing about this house, it has a dangerously ambiguous front porch. On one side of the front porch sit two sling backed soccer chairs, the ones that fold down into torpedo-like shapes that all self-respecting suburban citizens must own. Over the chairs a bamboo wind chime sways in the breeze. This side of the porch seems to say, “Come on over. Have a seat. Contemplate life with me as two people of this universe. Listen to the wind sing her mystical tune through my earth-friendly Buddha chimes.” On the other side of the porch, perched precariously on a pedestal of some sort, just to the left of the front door is a massive hissing devil-like ghoul the size of a bloated goat. This side screams, “The devil is real and he’s about to spit poisonous flesh eating venom all over your face.” It’s as if within the space of three feet, these neighbors are hoping to lure you into their lair, only to spat and snarl at you as you move on to ring the doorbell.

My own home falls into this sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomena, on a slightly more subtle scale. Earlier in the month when Mums started popping up at garden stores all over our town, I bought several to fill our pots and flower boxes in the front of the house. I immediately came home and planted the canary yellow, red and orange flowers. Stepping back, I couldn’t help but feel that my Martha Stewart mother would be proud of her daughter’s work that day. Just a couple short weeks later, the mums are all dead. If you walk up to my house, you will see a small chalk board the happily chirps. “Welcome” on it. And yet, if you look below the board, you will me my charred mums. The mums seem to whimper, “If you require water for survival, do not enter this residence. Death awaits you!” This is an ongoing problem of mine. I love planting plants. Watering them, well, that takes a bit more planning and foresight.

If you come to visit, you need not worry that an evil demon will greet you, but you might be wise to ask for a drink if one is not offered to you.