Spoken Word: The One Where I Demolish My House in 800 Words

I'm so excited to share this with you... It's a spoken word piece I've been tinkering with for a while. And, this weekend, while at a women's retreat with the Northend Collective, I had a chance to finish it and share it out loud. I think it's better when we share stuff aloud.

Here you go:


Today was long and it jump started late. I'll be honest, the rest of the day toppled as dominos do with the slightest flick of a childish finger.

So it was over before it started.

At the front door, I drop my bag and slip out of my shoes and try to breathe, but it's short and tense.

I try again. Shorter still.

And suddenly I know exactly what must be done. I cannot help myself.

These blinds, full of the dust of past conversations and slights and long held hurt feelings, I've decided they must go. The broken wand has rendered the plastic shade permanently closed. With both bare hands I grip those blinds and pull. Down they come like slinky's.

Next window please.

One more time. I wipe the grime with my sleeve, and here come the street lights and the setting sun and the first few stars.

Before the dust settles, my hands find the end table with the small lamp I settled for because it was the right color but never shed enough light to actually accomplish anything. With my pinky finger, I tip it over and then I topple the whole table. Remote controls scatter.

That's where they've been hiding.

And now I'm laughing.  How easily I feel I've lost control, remote or otherwise.

Another deep breath as I survey the room.

This wallpaper we inherited, it never really liked us. It's been soaking in our breath, eavesdropping, and pasting our shames to the wall. It's been acting as though that's the glue holding up these walls, like it's doing us a favor.

Just Like stripping a bed, as if I've done this a thousand times before, I press my thumbprint into the wall, slide until my finger nail catches the seam, and all that old paper comes curling down around me. I ball up this sticky floral stripped mess and toss it to the curb. The neighbors will think I've come unglued.

I know I'm coming clean.

But then I notice this carpet. The catch all for everything we drag inside. Purposely chosen to hideall our dirt and grime. I pick at the far corner near the vent. It takes everything I have inside me to roll it up and push that filthy brown rug under the weight of all we've been carrying.

But what's been preserved underneath is more than I ever dared imagine. Solid oak planks, strong in spite of their scars. I admire the marks that give it character and charm.

If only we held each other with such high regard.

But there is a jangling that echoes through our space now. It's not an emptiness I hear, more like a whisper, a vibration from another room, a room I never knew was here. A room that stays just out of reach. I must find it.

There it is again. This oddly familiar sensation. I reach for the door knob and search for my keys simultaneously. There's only one lock at my entrance, but my key ring is heavier than I'd care to admit. I've replaced this lock at the first hint of any new threat, real or imagined, and I'm carrying keys that serve no purpose whatsoever except to remind me of all I've been so afraid of.

It's safe to say I can let these old keys, old locks, old fears, old thoughts finally go.

So I sweep them up with the rest of the debris and collect everything in the dust pan. I swing my broom out wide hoping to catch the cobwebs dangling in the corner.

And there it is again. A distant rhythm I can't quite place.

Does anyone else hear that?

It starts out small and I press an ear to the wall hoping to find a secret door. An escape hatch. Another life.

But it's coming from the ceiling.

This ceiling has always seemed too low. I duck in and out of rooms and I'm always apologizing for it. Not any more.

I inhale and grip the base of my broom. I use the handle to poke a hole in the popcorn ceiling. Sprinkles rain down. I swipe a "z" through it, with my broom slash sword, like Zorro and run for cover.

If I'm not back soon, someone come find me.

And then I see it.

The rafters are exposed and soaring overhead and reaching out their hands clasped in prayer. I raise my face to the roof line and stand at my full height.

This house and I have been waiting our whole lives to finally become home - not just shelter - for one another.

So, there you have it... the one where I take apart my house in a little less than 800 words. I hope it inspires you. And if it did, please feel free to share it and leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

This is Not the End,