Jen Sookfong Lee
June 26, 2011
Maybe the one thing people should know about me is that I hate my house. It sounds mean, doesn’t it, like I’m telling everyone that I secretly stick pins into a voodoo doll that looks like my brother, or that I overfed my pet Guinea pig when I was nine just so I could watch it die. The house hasn’t done anything to deserve all this ill will. In fact, it just sits there on this ordinary street in East Vancouver, its front covered with red bricks, the lawn lined with a row of rhododendrons. I suppose architects might hate how boxy it is, or how the textured stucco on the sides just collects dirt and bird shit. It’s squat and practical and you would never notice it if you were driving by. Really, it’s nothing more or less than a respectable house. But I hate it.
It’s mostly empty these days, empty air in the long hallway, circling in on itself. Sounds come from the basement, like whispers or sighs, as if the rooms are lonely and have started talking to each other, each word like a breath.