March 30th, 2014


LJ Idol Season Nine: "On The Move"

On The Move
lj idol season nine | week three | 1500 words
In another castle


We lived in five different houses in four cities by the time I left for college, and my dad didn't even have the excuse of being in the military. Sometimes we moved because he ran from his problems rather than facing them, but usually, it had to do with his unerring tendency to buy the "albatross" house.

You're probably wondering exactly what that term means. Say that someone tries to sell their house and a year or two later, there are still no takers. If you were to go look at the house, you might find a room or a feature that was utterly weird. My father would look at that same house and not notice the weird thing until after buying it and living in it for a few years. Once he did notice it, the house would then become completely unlivable and he would have to sell it, but he would never see the problem early enough to avoid getting caught up the whole mess.

I don't know what our first home was originally like inside. Outside, it was a nice-looking, white two-story house that burned to the ground before I was born. My father rebuilt it as a black, ranch-style house that seemed normal enough apart from the birch-forest wallpaper in the living room, and his having cannibalized one of the four bedrooms to turn it into a library with built-in shelves (this last part would become a recurring theme in all his houses). The original garage remained, though. It was wholly unusable for cars because the previous owner had run his dental practice from it, and it was full of patient chairs and the strange machines he'd left behind. When Dad sold the place (because my mother finally decided she'd had enough of working full time, raising two small children, and trying to maintain a 72-acre farm), I think the dental equipment was still there.

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