The Bedroom I’m in the old house, walking quickly down the long hallway, looking for the light of the front room. I know if I turn left and then right I’ll see warmth again, but I’m still scared by the possibility that it may not be there.
The hallway is in a house that my boyfriend and I are looking at; an exercise to see if it is a place we would contemplate renting. It is a reasonable price for a big space, and for all intents and purposes, a great find. That is perhaps why I’m thinking that I’m going to have a hard time convincing my boyfriend that I simply cannot, will not, ever, under any circumstances, consider living there.
Only moments before the four walls of the back bedroom had closed in around me.
I had stayed behind to give the bedrooms.... another chance.... and yet as I write this I understand that’s not quite what I mean. I had already decided I didn't like the place, and so I couldn’t put my finger on this nagging voice that was pulling me to stay in the back bedroom.
It seemed innocent enough. Almost as if it were my trusty intuition suggesting that I give something another once over. According to "specialists" intuition has been defined as a knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason. A theory of intuition has even been connected to spirituality because it is the illumination of an idea without a connection to any logical reason. Generally intuitive thoughts take us out of harms way; a different route home, one job over another... that type of thing. If you've experienced intuition before, (and followed it), you will know that while it feels blind, it usually feels right. I am certain it wasn’t a conscious curiosity that pulled me back there, and so I shudder to think of how my instinct had been duped into believing it was leading me down the right path. My last line of defense had been deceived.
Within two turns around the bare four walls, something swallowed me up; the empty room had projected itself onto me. I had never before felt so alone in the world. I felt in fact, as if the world didn’t exist anymore. And despite the fact that I felt so very alone, I wasn’t. Emptiness and despair themselves were tugging at something inside of me, trying to pull my soul into the abyss so it wouldn’t have to be there alone.
I was overwhelmed. Someone had been killed here. Someone was murdered in one of these rooms.
I wanted immediately to find someone else, who was living. I wanted to get rid of the feeling of unhappy and isolating desolation that had moved into my mind and body.
I’m in the old house, walking quickly down the long hallway, looking for the light of the front room. I know if I turn left and then right I’ll see warmth again, but I’m still scared by the possibility that it may not be there.
And then, Bob and my boyfriend standing in a corner by the living room fire-place talking.
When I approached them, I said not a word and my boyfriend used the buffer to go take another look at the back of the big unit.
To fill the awkward silence I asked Bob a few questions.
“So, when did you buy the place?”
“Back in October,” he said. “It has been vacant since then while I’ve been trying to rent it out. I never met the previous owner. I’m new to this landlord thing.”
“Oh yes,” I said. “I noticed on your ad that the listing was first posted two months ago. I thought that may have been a mistake.”
“No....” he said. And I realized my error - it was a bit rude to pointedly say that he had been unable to rent the unit since October. I wasn’t really concerned with social awareness at that point.
As he explained to me that he had never met the previous owner or any of the tenants living in the house, my mind drifted. My boyfriend had been in the back of the house for longer then I would have expected; longer then I would have liked. I interpreted this to mean that he was in love with the place. I thought to myself, while in the relative comfort of the light of the front room, that I was going to have a very hard time making a logical case for not wanting to submit a rental application on the grounds of “I think someone may have been killed there.” It was going to be a hard sell. I would have to find some other sort of explanation to persuade him, because the thought of being in those back rooms alone again, was too much.
So we thanked Bob and left. The quietness and chill of that December night greeted us and we walked in silence back to the car.
Once inside we started it and let it idle to heat up a bit.
I asked the standard post apartment hunt question: “So what did you think?”
“Well,” he said. “I don’t know."
And then he turned to me: “I feel like someone was killed in that back room,” he said.
It seemed insanely impossible that those were his words. I blurted it out: “NO... no ..... seriously?” And he’s looking at me like I think he’s crazy.
And I’m trying to say it all at once. "No, no, I mean... I was trying to think of a way to tell you that I couldn’t rent that house. Because I thought you would think I was crazy if I told you that I didn’t want to live there because I felt like someone was murdered in the back. I thought you were in love with it and that’s why it was taking you so long looking around"
“No” he said, “When I went back there I felt like something was pulling at me and my chest was so tight. The only thing I could think or hear was that someone had been killed in that room.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
He says to me, “I feel hollow and empty after having been back there alone.”
"I know what you mean."
That night when we got home it took hours for the feeling to subside. My boyfriend and I laid awake in a small cozy apartment, trying to coax the warmth back. But the feeling, it continued to constrict our chests. It was eerie to return to that bedroom in our mind, and be filled immediately with that feeling. It was something that could pull you into the deep, dark and empty place, and in the days, weeks, and months that have followed, when I think of those back bedrooms, (even now as I’m writing this down), I can feel it return to me. It’s crying out from somewhere.
Regardless, I guess we agreed on something else. We would not be renting that house on Maclaren Street.