Lying here on my air mattress while the temperature slowly creeps back into double digits, I feel the tragic side. Phoenix was never a happy place for us, though there were moments of happiness. As we try to reddress the mess our renters left us, I find myself in a predicament. I am attached to the house, even as I desperately want to rid myself of the place.
Had things gone the way everyone expected, our house might have been increasing in value right now. I might have enjoyed working at the university that made our lives possible in Arizona. As it is, when I come here, I see it as the waste land that it is, filled with little hope, too much heat, trash, and extreme right-wing crazy.
When I lived here, driving out of Phoenix made me feel free. Driving back filled me with dread. This time, I didn't feel dread, but I also knew I wouldn't be stuck here. But now, I lie in the master suite which no longer feels like mine, and my chest feels like it is imploding. I can't describe how dark it feels, how wrong the house is to me. It feels alien, cold, and unwelcoming. There is no real reason why the place should feel me with these awful feelings, yet I lie here, incapable of sleeping because I feel like I should not turn my back on the house.
Anyone with any strong empathy knows that places have personalities. Places hold memories much longer than fragile flesh. So why does this place feel so awful to me? Why do I feel unsafe when there is no reason to feel this way?
My creative mind can't help but imagine - not all horror stories begin the same.
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