The House

The house is three blocks west and one block north of my condo. It is more than 100 years old. It has original (we think) trim and floors. There is a French man living there right now. He has two children who are in France with their grandparents for the summer. His wife is already working in Manhattan. (Today I just heard about someone in Manhattan so rich that he has a back yard.) The house was on the market since October and sixty people walked through before we made an offer. Four people lived in a space that we will occupy. Though we want it to accommodate guests, including L's two children and their entourages. The For Sale sign out front still doesn't say "under contract." Our walk-through is Monday morning and then noon is the closing and then we run back to weed and pull down ivy. I picture us running through the empty house, too, shouting, It's ours! It's ours!

Property is theft, my friend D reminds me.

But from whom? From the great C0mmon Good? On the one hand, it is preposterous to think of "owning" anything, since we're going to die. But on the other hand, can everything be shared? Theoretically, yes. My friend R used to live in a commune in Germany. You would sleep in whatever bed was available at night and take whatever clothing fit the next morning. If you don't have all your things with you, if you don't have things, then you're not carrying your history around with you, at least on the outside. You're not dragging around your heirlooms and inheritances. Your DNA does that quite well enough on its own. We are supposed to buy and buy, first because of Sept. 11, and now, to stimulate the sluggish economy. To own more and more. The more each person has, the more there is to separate one person from another, to divide us as we individuate by our possessions. The more there is to use to build walls around each of us, to label everything, Mine mine mine.


Anonymous said...

Hey, congrats on the house. Sounds really nice. But one thing about pulling down the ivy. Just last Saturday, one of my neighbors pointed out that on another neighbor's house, twined in among the NORMAL ivy was POISON ivy. Neighbor #1 had told Neighbor #2 about it a few weeks ago, but Neighbor #2 has yet to do anything about it. I subsequently heard that Neighbor #2 had his copper downspouts stolen off his house (a common crime in this neighborhood), and I wondered whether the thief got poison ivy. Anyway, look before you tug.

Anonymous said...

I get jittery just buying a $250 stereo and anything from Ikea. Congrats on the house! Enjoy!

Cousin D

Anonymous said...


Mazel tov on your new home! I had heard of this blog but until tonight I did not know it was about you. Refuah Shlemah. If I can assist in anyway, please let me know.

Carol Brumer