House

For Bec

 

I sometimes dream of a house.

I know I lived there but I don’t remember when.

Maybe when I was really young, I lived there with my parents.

Maybe it was a relative, and we used to stay there over night.

Maybe it was a friend’s house, and I use to stay after school.

Maybe I moved in there on my own for a short time, between the large number of places I’ve lived.

Maybe it was in Hong Kong. Or Australia. Or London.

Or maybe it’s somewhere I stayed for a little while abroad.

It’s not clear.

What is clear is the house.

I can draw you the exact layout without missing a beat.

The colours of the walls and the sofas.

One of four town house apartments in an old building.

Long – the living room at the front, the kitchen at the back, with one stair separating them.

Two bedrooms upstairs along the railings, and the bathroom at the end.

The slither of concrete yard at the side, where the bins live.

The grassy, wooden fence that leads to the back, where I can see flats from the neighbours.

I can even see it from the outside – it’s on a busy street with a traffic barge in the middle. Free standing and old. And near the water.

Thing is, I never lived there.

We could not a afford a place that big in Hong Kong, nor could anyone we know (and that architecture did not exist).

Same goes for in Australia, until the point I was old enough to remember, and it never happened.

Since I moved out of home I lived in several places. I have tried to find six months where maybe this place existed, maybe in Ashfield or Randwick or somewhere. But no gap in time exists.

Although I can see London people I know in that house, I think it’s my dreams playing tricks on me. I have diaries of where I was almost every day.

As the morning carries on and the dream fades, the more I realise how impossible it is that this house exists. But when I’m dreaming it’s right there.

Last night I dreamt I was trying to find this house. People who must have come around or visited were questioned. Each one thought, even in my dreams, I was mad.

Then I asked you and you said “sure”. You knew the place. Described it well and knew where it was. Then you said we should go drive by it and have a look, which we did.

And that is how I feel about you.

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