Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome Home

I had an aunt who was a narcoleptic. She'd fall asleep like that. One time she fell asleep while she was entering the front door and smacked her face on to our screen door. She always wore a heavy pancake make-up on her face, and for years after there was a faint image of her face on the screen. Kinda like the Shroud of Turin. It was a strange illusion. When I was little I always thought it was watching me. The funny thing was, as much as it creeped me out, I was afraid to clean it off with the hose. Somehow I thought if I erased that image, she would disappear, and I didn't want that on my conscious.

After my parents died I inherited the house with Aunty's visage. I entered the property through the back door into the kitchen. It was evident that the house had seen better days; towards the end of their lives the up keep of the place had deteriorated along with my parents' mental acuity. I wandered through the rooms, piles of magazines on the floor, unopened letters cluttering the dining room table. I kept having flashbacks to happier times; playing hide and seek behind the living room curtains. The Easter Ham sitting on the table. Sneaking down the stairs on Christmas Eve to see if Santa had arrived yet. It wasn't tragic, but it was, I don't know, really quite sad.

I went to the front door and opened it; there, faintly staring back at me, was Aunty's face. I put my hand up and let my finger trace the outline of her countenance. It was funny, I'd never noticed this before, but in this light, it looked like she was smiling as she hit the screen. My fingers followed the curve of her lips. I laughed to myself, and then closed the door.

Welcome home Sonny Boy.


  1. Sheilagh Lee said:I loved this it's wonderful to find memories of people gone by in everyday things.wonderful story.

  2. I like this story, it's a lovely, nostalgic ramble through personal history. When next in England, I have been invited to visit a very old house that was in my family for many, many years. I haven't been inside it since 1976, and am looking forward to the visitation very much.

  3. What else was inherited? Is that 'visage' more than it appears...I felt a chilling under-tow..and am now casting my eye around looking for smudges on windows..Jae ;)