New House

(Two posts today because I forgot to post yesterday)

The second day in the new house, the car was stolen. It had been in the driveway, and then it was not. The police were of little help. Apparently, being a full moon, they were more concerned with the man who kept threatening to kill himself with a ballpoint pen.

The third day, the car was back. The lock was damaged from a screwdriver or some other blunt instrument. The car was covered in grease and there was a slice of pizza on the floor in the backseat. When I asked the police if they wanted to check it out, they asked why. It wasn’t stolen anymore. They had a point.

The fifth day, the lounge room was emptied. Everything – every piece of furniture, every videotape, every butt in the ashtray. I had to get to work. On my return, everything was back in place, well, different places, but everything was returned. Even all the butts.

I asked my neighbour. He shrugged.

“It’s a weird house.”

Surely, this is not the house, I asked of him. Surely this is some weirdo freak torturing me.

“I ain’t seen no-one.”

I went back inside, trying to figure out who the hell speaks like that in East Brunswick. And I think he was chewing tobacco.

Nothing happened for a week. I began to imagine that I’d made it up. Then, I got out of the shower and my towel was missing, but my dressing gown was still there. I put it on and walked to the bedroom. Everything was gone. The house was totally empty. I walked outside and it was all stacked in a tall, mysterious pile on the nature strip. I pulled some clothes and my mobile out of the stack, went inside, called a truck hire company and dressed.

I lived in the truck for three months. It cost many times more than the house. But nothing moved unless I moved it.

I went back to the house six months later. I passed the nieghbour, sitting on his front porch on a rocking chair, chewing and spitting, and was that actually a hint of shotgun behind him? Or was it just a banjo?

A couple stood outside the house, arguing. He said of course he hadn’t moved her laptop with all of the research for her PhD, why would be do that? She said something about him oppressing or possibly repressing her ambition.

I walked on. I think I heard the house chuckle.


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