This House Is Not Yet A Home

by Robbie Romu on February 1, 2013

house brokenhouse
(hous) noun
a building for human habitation; esp. one that is lived in by a family or a small group of people: this house is not yet a home.

You know you’re getting old when…

The correlation between this phrase and the grave is irrefutable.  The closer you get to the pine box or the urn, the more you hear yourself saying it.  It mysteriously enters your lexicon around 36 – when everything really starts to go to Hell – and asserts its presence more and more as the years tick ungratefully by.

The other day I threw my back out during “sexy times.”  That’s what my husband and I call our bi-monthly rutting… because it sounds better than “bi-monthly rutting.”  So, there we were, in the shower (because even our amorous moments are dual-purposed) when some dumb flunky upstairs flushes their toilet – that’s the sign for our water to turn to “volcano” temperature – and all Hell breaks loose.

Generally, the first thing one does when scalding water begins to sear the flesh from your skin is attempt to get out of the way, so naturally, this is what I tried to do.  Unfortunately, two things that do not mix are fast movements and slippery showers, so I was less than successful and anything but graceful.  My poor husband, who happened to be kneeling at the time (that is what gay guys do with each other), was partially impaled and very nearly beheaded.  We ended up in a writhing heap, utterly entangled, with the volcano water jetting angrily all over my lily-white ass and no free hands near the tap.

I felt my back go “oh Hell no” the moment I lurched forward and knew instantly that I was going to be in a lot of pain and no help whatsoever when it came to extricating us from our current predicament.  Now, I probably weigh twice as much as my husband does – he’s sleek, like a gazelle, where as I am sleek, like a manatee – so his situation is pretty dire too, what with 100 extra pounds lying on top of him like a paralyzed side of beef.  It’s one of those back issues where everything seizes up and refuses to move for love nor money, so I am basically useless, and he is on his own.

Remarkably unfazed by what is happening, he reaches out and grasps the hot water tap with his foot like some genetically enhanced super monkey and proceeds to save the day (and my lobster-red ass) with dexterous aplomb.  My hero!

As I lay there, in the rapidly cooling tub hating my life and trying to work up the courage to make a move, I thought about getting old.  Well first I thought, “I’m selling this fucking condo and buying a house” then I thought about getting old.

I’ve heard the platitudes; “old is a state of mind” and “you’re only as old as you think you are” but those don’t have anything to do with the cold hard reality of an aging body.  Clearly, mentally, I am still a teen-ager, but unfortunately, physically, I live in a 43 year old house.  And sure, I’ve slapped a few coats of paint on it over the years and done some cosmetic renovations, but I’ve never really done anything to ensure the foundations are solid or prevent the roof from caving in.

In fact, I’ve spent most of my life hating my “house,” and taking it for granted.  In my teens and early twenties it was the party house – you know, the one with no adult supervision, where everybody goes to get piss drunk, smoke weed and trash the place.  From 25 to 35 it was less of a house and more of a love shack.  In the past several years (since I met my husband anyways) I’ve spent most of my time adding insulation…

So, thru the pain and humiliation came this; it’s all fine and wonderful to have a spry, youthful mind but what good is it if it doesn’t have a decent place to live?  It is time to take stock, get an assessment and begin to look after this place.

After all, it’s the only house I have, and maybe, just maybe, we can grow old together.

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