Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Darling, I Built You A Retreat From The World"

"Darling, I Built You A Retreat From The World"
written in general, hardly specific, and oddballish by jake kilroy.

I built you a home, so that you could retreat from the world, and I did it all with you and without your help.

The picket fence came from the slats of wood that made up your neighborhood treehouse where the boys plotted and the girls giggled. I paid a boy to dress in overalls and a straw hat to paint it white, because I know The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was the first book you read that you considered an adult novel.

The porch was lifted from a sprawling mansion house in the South, so you could finally be Scarlett O'Hara and I could be Clark Gable (because Gable wouldn't give in or give up like Rhett Butler did).

The lantern's from the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride at Disneyland. It's where a boy first snuck a kiss on you and you were embarrassed. You slapped him and told the other middle school girls that he tasted like cinnamon, popcorn and barf. I one-upped him and can't return to Disneyland any time soon because of it, so let's stay in and watch television.

I took the vines off of your east coast university, where you learned that sex was just as free as your friends said and just as institutionalized as your parents hinted. The vines now crawl up the walls, just as you made the boys do when you discovered the mechanics of playing coy.

The windows are from an old Victorian house that you stopped a boyfriend from throwing stones at, just like in It's A Wonderful Life, a movie that you watch every Christmas by yourself, smiling with a mug of hot chocolate and cookies your mom always sends.

I transplanted the grass from the park where you played hide-and-seek as a child. But I couldn't uproot the trees, so I dug up the baseball field instead. I know you hate baseball and I laughed the whole time.

The paintings are from the beach galleries that I took you to one autumn evening, thinking I could impress you, only to realize you know more about art than I've ever lied about.

All the furniture comes from the garage sales I paraded through several Saturdays, listening to music mixes you made for me so I could work my day job happily.

All the flowers are from the garden and yard of that mean girl from your grade school that grew up to be some lawyer bitch. Even a dream house such as yours needs the reward of gloating and anger-induced laughter, almost something of a sensual, primal joy that stems from fury, just as sex that comes from the distraction of sadness or vengeance has more value to it than sex that arises out of boredom.

The pond in the back holds water from the lake where your family summer home sat. I put it in mason jars and drove the long haul home, listening to the clinking and clanking of glass against glass, realizing how fragile things could always be.

I took the door from the bedroom of my first apartment when I realized what kind of woman I wanted, and it was someone like you. Finally, through years of floozies and more than a decade of the wrong woman, I wanted you. And I traded the current owners of the apartment for a nicer door, as, sometimes, memories, hopes and promises to yourself are worth too much for accountants to figure.

For everything else, I hired somebody else, professionals actually, because you know better than anyone I can hardly do anything alone and I rarely finish what I start. But I also made lemonade to make up for that, and it sits with melting ice cubes, waiting for you to come home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite yet...