Estrangement

Yesterday, after living there for only eight months, I left my old house and moved back to the place where I’ve lived most of my life. I’ll blog about the how and why of my moving twice in a year later (as of March 17th actually).

Leaving your rented house -in my country at least- requires you to revert the house in the state in which it was delivered to you. Besides taking all your stuff out, this means taking out any flooring, decoration, curtains, carpets even repainting walls (white) when the colours are too vivid. Only if the next occupant signs he or she will take over some of those items are you allowed to leave them.

In my case, it wasn’t yet known who the next occupant was, so I had to take everything out. Slowly you unravel the house, and it starts looking less and less the house you’re used to live in. Things even start to sound different, especially when you’ve taken the flooring out. Everything sounds hollow. Even the familiar crack of the planks in your floor has gone.

In the end you’re pacing around in a derelict house, on bare concrete, waiting for the representative of the housing agency. The only thing that still works is the toilet. There’s nothing to sit on besides the window sills. It’s not your house any more. But still: so many things happened in places that are physically still there.

In case nobody else does the dismantling for you, you do it yourself. Slowly you grow disaccustomed to the house, if that is indeed an English word. Estrangement creeps in.

It must be difficult for people to take leave of their house in a rush, without having time to go though the grieving process…

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