but she wants me to post a status about our family’s property
being on the market anyway.
Maybe, she figures, she’ll pray to her saviour, I’ll make an appeal
to mine, and all our shooting-star wishes will come true.
I open Zillow, type “17059” in the search box, and it takes me a while to get my directional bearings. I never knew whether we were north, south, east, or west of anywhere else. We were just
in the valley,
where all the Worralls live.
Yes, the Worralls.
(I think I can tell you which direction most points are in Vancouver, but in a town of 800, I’m fucking lost on this map.)
So now I see
The Two Red Dots
I’m looking for,
the house and further up the road, the land—
between Shady Lane and Cleck Road, with Stoner Road and Winding Creek Lane in the middle.
The flat white and gray electronic map with two red dots—it tells nothing about the rolling hills where I used to run a mile from our house to Mam and Pap’s, or how I would sometimes stop in at Aunt Betty’s on the way up the road, and how Aunt Betty would take a walk with me down Stoner Road back when it was just a dirt road with no name or sign, with a small creek where Dad would sometimes take me fishing but with Aunt Betty the mission was to collect a bouquet of wild flowers and a basket full of blackberries.
In the mid-1980s there was this guy flying around in a helicopter,
taking pictures of people’s houses and selling them the photographs of the aerial view and it was like
this perspective is amazing
because we never see anything in the sky other than birds
and wow, another person flew over our house just to take a picture of us!
And now, like the robins, sparrows, blue jays, and woodpeckers, we can see
the tops of trees, pixels of gravel—
our home looking so small that way makes it feel so important.
I’m pretty sure everyone in Arch Rock bought one.
We hung ours in the kitchen. Every morning, I sat at the table eating breakfast while looking at the aerial shot and wondering if I was eating breakfast at the time this picture was being taken.
So Red Dot #1, our house with the address 1789 Arch Rock Road—our road also didn’t have a real name back in the day, just RR#1—two letters, one number—that’s how small we were, and no lines down the middle of the road—I scroll through the pictures and see
where I used to sit on the porch swing and listen rumble of the Port Royal races travel over the hill every Saturday night,
and the slope in the yard between my and Davey’s house, where I’d tobaggan down in my blue saucer when we got the right kind of snow,
and the pool where Christians got baptized by the Methodist pastor (after which my mom served eggrolls) one summer,
the bed my dad lay in,
the living room my mom always prays to Buddha in (at the altar, on her Ipad),
and the orange kitchen counter, which apparently turns off prospective buyers who don’t appreciate how much retro/vintage is ahead of its time.
What I don’t tell my sister is that I’m praying to my unidentifiable god that the house, the land never get sold because you can’t sell always-and-forever homes. You just can’t.
It’s only now that I really notice the wind chime with seashells hanging on the strings from a rattan gazebo with a plastic bird inside. It hangs in what used to be the kitchen window, before the outside became inside when Dad added a room onto the house.
I’ve never heard that wind chime’s music before.
I want to go home to hear it,
to hear what it has to say.