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The Old House

Maxden Eveland

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When I think of a house, I think of the first house I lived in. It had old weather beaten wooden panels, that had been painted white a long time ago, slowly rotting on the side of the house as bugs began tearing it apart. Blue trim on the edges, that had faded and peeled, cascading like blue leaves, falling from a tree and been scattered through the yard. The house sat next to a bunch of others exactly like it, all small and broken down, with few people taking care of it. the front steps were broken and rotting, with mice living below them. Occasionally groceries could be found sitting at the base of the steps, food to last a few weeks. The back door wasn’t even on the ground, so it was never opened. The whole neighborhood was sad, full of people who couldn’t afford any better. The sun shone down, bright and vibrant, cloudless, but only left everyone feeling hollow.

There were few other people in the area, except for some elderly folks, who were grateful for what they could have during this time. There was a tree in the middle of the yard, or what we called a yard, brown grass, trampled underfoot that would never become green. A tall oak tree sat in the middle of the yard, standing tall above all the small houses, as if looking for a better spot to have grown its roots. It would droop in the winters, under the weight of a blanket of snow that would later cause it to fall onto a house, collapsing the kitchen.

The house on the inside was nothing spectacular. Tile floors in the kitchen, broken and chipped. Old carpet, that had once been tan, but was worn and torn. The rooms, no bigger than a closet, each holding two people. There were no beds in the house, only a few mats, thin blankets, and a small fan. There was a vent that led to outside, that only made the winters unbearable and the summers brutal, as the weather and animals would crawl in and out, looking for a place to hide.

There was very little furniture in the house, only a few things that had been kept since the 80’s. A green and blue couch, made of velvet, with enough room for three people. An old rocking chair, that had been passed down through the generations, broken and beaten sitting in a corner. It wasn’t a good house by any means, but it was home. An old box tv sat in the corner, collecting dust and holding the few movies we owned.

We never did hang out inside the house much. We woul always hang outside, or leave. If we were stuck at home, we would read from our small library, or try to watch one of the three channels on tv. Most of the time, we avoided the house, as if it was a plague, holding only sickness and sorrow for it to hold. I guess our parents never wanted to realize the situation they were in, so they tried to avoid it by never coming home.  Meals consisted of peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and dinner every day, and some cheerios for breakfast. If we were lucky occasionally on Sundays we would have tuna, but even that was pretty rare.

No one ever came to visit, except for a landlord and an old couple who lived next door. We were more or less left to ourselves, which most of the time was fine; in fact, I think we preferred it that way. The silence became normal, and the bugs became targets to hit. Despite how things were, we stayed there for years, one because we couldn’t afford anything better, and I think in the end we enjoyed it. Beaten, battered, and torn, falling apart at the seams, we loved that crumbling house, the place we all considered home.

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The Old House