This morning they were spraying the house with a fire hose. I'm not sure how I understood that that meant that it was going to be knocked down but I did understand that right away. Like the phone ringing in the night and the dread you feel even before you answer it.
I don't think anyone ever explained to me that when a house is going to be bulldozed you must first spray down the surrounding area with a lot of water. I find that I am often making these far fetched and yet correct leaps of logic. The house was uninhabited and was -most people would say- ugly, completely in the way, and also rotten so perhaps even someone less observant then myself would assume that any attention the house was receiving had to be in regard to its impending end. I did think briefly that maybe they were going to burn it- though that seemed more unlikely, it would have more satisfyingly explained the fire hose. But if they were going to burn it I probably would have received some letter from the town explaining that there would be a fire today and that this fire was intentional. Maybe they would have be required to shut down the road.
The color of the house was the only thing in bad taste- a murky mud brown with lighter yellow-brown accents so that it looked the way mud looks on a boot when some but not all of it has dried but in spite of this I always thought it was a good looking structure. I liked the way it was placed on it's gravelly dead-grass lawn with its first rate view of the four lane service road, gas station and construction site. It was nestled into the commercial landscape the way illustrations in children's stories show cottages sitting neatly amongst rolling hills.
If the house had been inhabitable I would have liked to live there. I think I would enjoy and not be at all annoyed by the way the rooms surely throb red, green and yellow even at night when the service road is empty of cars and living there is like living on the edge of a wide waterway and the traffic light outside like a drawbridge going up and down servicing boats that aren't there. During the day though-
I imagine one could sit for hours, cross legged on the moldy carpet looking up through the window attempting to write poetry about the stuttering and oddly weak-looking gestures of the bulldozers and cranes doing their long-necked jobs in the construction site next door.
Anyway I watched them spray the house with water and then I ate breakfast at the healthfood store and then I left on my way to school. At the corner I passed a bulldozer who was bent over and sniffing a pile of mud colored rubble in a confused kind of lonely looking denial. I felt satisfied that something large and significant had taken place. The house used to be there and while it was I had had many thoughts about it, including but not limited to how interesting it would have been to live in it.