Today as I entered my closet, I did something I do with a frequency that is somewhat embarrassing: I swept my hand insistently up and down an interior wall seeking the light switch that is not there, which refuses to be there…and being a little puzzled as the lights stubbornly do not flash into warm, glowing life.
I do the same thing in my kitchen. There are two entries to my kitchen, one from the dining room and the other from the playroom.
There is a switch, a-one-singular-only-one-that’s-all-you-get-switch, on the playroom side of the kitchen.
NOT the dining room side.
I came downstairs this morning in the dark (meh), went through the dining room entry (which is the quickest way to the coffee maker), and stood there like an idiot trying to find the light switch which, again, is not there.
Today I was pondering why it is that, after having lived in this Den for ten full years now, I still do things like that. I still somehow expect there to be one more stair, a light switch where no light switch is, I expect the piano to be on a wall where it has never been…and then it hit me.
I’m superimposing the house I grew up in over this one.
There are quite a few similarities, sure. The basic layout is mostly-kind-of the same…if you stretched the old house here and squashed this one there.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in “the” house. We moved only twice that I know of in my childhood: Once from the apartment in San Francisco to a house in San Rafael when I was very-very young; and then from that house to The House in San Ramon when I was about, oh, eight-ish.
And there we stayed until I was in my twenties and getting an apartment of my own.
So I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised to find that I think there should be a light switch in a place the old house had one…especially considering that I feel it was a major oversight on the part of the builder not to have a switch there.
You know. There. Closer. To. The. Coffee. Maker.
I wonder what kinds of imprints my Denizens will have. Will they always walk down a flight of stairs hugging the right banister, because they expect a large pile of crap waiting to be brought up to be scattered on the left of the stairs? Will they try to hang towels on hooks that don’t exist? Will they be confused when their new bathroom only has one medicine cabinet?
These sorts of things can, apparently, run very, very deep indeed.
…and I still feel as though there should be a room just inside my front door, stuffed with all the junk we don’t quite know what to do with so we’ll just put it in here for now…
E. B. White
1 day ago