You’d be hard pressed to find a more dramatic 13-year-old – a difficult feat to say the least. On the ride home I continuously breathe on the window and write messages like “Help Me” on the window. How is it that a teenager can be so enraged and disappointed in his parents; isn’t it supposed to work the other way around?
When you pull up to our house you’ll find your standard ranch style house with all of the middle life crisis attachments you’d expect from parents of their age. The garage is still open from when my father pulled out in a hurry; inside lies what you’d expect from an Oldsmobile enthusiast – he fancies himself a mechanic: a red toolbox (brand new), “tasteful” calendars provides by the tool company, milk crates filled with old LPs, a couch with too many holes, a mini fridge (full of sports drinks, not beer, because my father hates anyone who drinks), and a classic Technics stereo system (my favorite part though don’t tell him that) featuring a still working turntable and giant furniture sized speakers.
The rest of the work on the house is my mother’s doing. Well not her per se but her idea. The second floor is no more than an addition just to serve as a bigger at home office for herself. The actual work was done by contractors under her close supervision.
You might wonder, “Simon if you are home only once a year, for a few months at a time, how do you know all of this?” Well yes, disembodied interviewer, I know that does strange and I’ll let you know the answer: I get a monthly letter about all the comings and goings in the household. “Well Simon your parents can’t be all that bad now can they? They keep you up to date on what is going on in their lives.” Well, voice of reason, you might have another good point there. It is quite literally framed in the form of a newsletter. It is so I do not ask about changes, additions, etc. when I return home for the summer. Remember. My mother doesn’t like stupid questions. “I See.” You’ve got it, voice of defeat.
The house sticks out and everyone knows it. The neighborhood alliance tried to stop the work being done to the house but my mother marched down to city house and that was that. The work was done in a week.