I’m sorry for the deception, of which I’m sure you’re now aware. When you toured our house in early spring, when it was still cold outside and snow covered the ground, we sat in our car down the street and prayed that you wouldn’t see the dirty edges of the brightly colored toys buried in the snow. Under the guise of winter our little bungalow looked warm and inviting. We strategically placed vanilla-scented candles, and bolted a wine rack under the cabinet with hanging sparkling glasses that we knew would make you think, “I could entertain here.”

The bistro table, the newly painted beige walls, the subway tile in the bathroom, that was all engineered, part of our “winter wonderland,” making our house the kind of place you would want to live. And our plan worked. You made an offer, and when our realtor called with the news we rolled around on the kitchen floor like hyenas. Laughing and biting each other, delirious in the knowledge that we’d tricked you.

But then we had a month to wait in escrow. Thirty days to pace and yell at each other and wonder if the snow would melt and the truth would be revealed. We were tormented because we knew you were driving by the house, showing your friends what would soon be your new place. Surely you were starting to see through the veil, down to the ugly bride that was our neighbors, who are now your neighbors.

The first sign was the baby doll with no eyes. Then the broken skateboard with the pentagram knifed into the wood. As the snow melted we scurried in the night, picking up the wretched objects and disposing of them in a dumpster down the block. And miraculously it worked, the closing came, and we all signed on the dotted line, making our house your new home.

When we left the title office the sun was shining brightly. That day would be the day, with the first promise of warmth, that the creatures would emerge to sun themselves. The mother and the father and their twelve million greasy children would be waiting for you, riding their bikes in your driveway and pushing their grimy strollers in your flower bed. Booger, their pit bull, would be back on the porch, tethered with a rope, gnashing his teeth at you as you scurried back to your car. And Dennis, the shirtlessed father, would be yelling at the nameless mother in the yard, playing horseshoes until he passed out, face down in a Huffy tire rut, empty Miller cans surrounding his head.

In the end, Guy That Bought Our House, we felt sorry for you, so we left you our chiminea.

Have a great summer,
Kerri Wood Thomson