The People Who Used To Live Here

Branching from a modest, quiet cul-de-sac, at the end of a modest-length driveway, sits a modest home. The People Who Used To Live Here reside within these walls. To a large extent, The People Who Used To Live Here exist on divergent paths, and while the ties that bind still exist, many of those ties are of a legal or nominal nature only. The bonds of family fade with each passing day.

The Man Who Used To Live Here flits slowly back and forth from the cluttered garage through the less cluttered kitchen and into the even less cluttered living room. He brings the implements of the coming holiday season, heavier in their many boxes than they seemed in previous years. He wonders to himself if the weight of the memories has added to the enormity of the annual task.

It is a rainy day at the home of The People Who Used To Live Here, and after a too-long, too-dry, too-hot summer, the clouds and rain and gentle autumn breezes are welcomed. The man has been tending to outside chores which are oft left undone, for a variety of reasons, one of which is caught up in the fact he is a Man Who Used To Live Here.

The Woman Who Used To Live Here has gone off for a time with the Girl Who Used To Live Here. Their destination is unknown, their activities left unsaid to the man. That's the way it is now. Messages are often only exchanged when there is a need to do so. The frivolities of general conversation are avoided in many cases so as to not end in a quarrel and hurt feelings.

The Boy Who Used To Live here either sleeps or sits at his computer, watching YouTube and/or playing video games with friends real and imagined. This is what a teenage boy does. The man wonders if he'd have been doing the same thing if he was that age in the current time. It's likely, but cannot be confirmed.

And as the Man Who Used To Live Here ponders all that he sees around him, he wonders where it all went. The time. The People Who Used To Live Here, where are they now, REALLY? A lot of emotion gets unlocked during the morning's activities, the outdoor chores oft left undone, the shuffling of boxes inside from the outside. For as much as the man is forced to live in the moment, not dwelling in the past nor daring to dream into the future, the memories are always there, occasionally demanding to be reckoned with.

The thing that really hits the Man Who Used To Live Here is the question: will he be repeating this task again next holiday season? He pauses for a long time, fighting back the tears the question brings. A multitude of realities could take shape in the coming year. Some of them end with the People Who Used To Live Here dwelling elsewhere, forever fragmented.

But for now, like all families, in all situations, The Man Who Used To Live Here knows that there are plenty of good memories to go along with plenty of not-so-good. While fragment, the ties that bind are not yet severed. The man is grateful for the fact all of The People Who Used To Live Here still reside within these walls. Though it all might hang by the tiniest of threads, they are still bound together, they still share the same roof over their heads in the modest house at the end of a modest-length driveway branching off of a modest, quiet cul-de-sac.


  1. I very heart felt post, Shannyn. It appears sad, but I feel there is a thread of optimism in it. I could be wrong. Maybe, it is wanting the best for you.

  2. i hadn't read this post... Wonderful writing..


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