Dateline: Frigid late January 2009, suffering mental and emotional trauma from having bought a house
I have often been asked the question by my peers, enemies, colleagues, friends and various law enforcement agents across the globe, “are you a complete idiot??!!” The implication in that interrogatory statement is that I wasn’t really thinking using the twin and rarely linked logical pillars of action and consequence, further implying I was trying to score with a chick or I was under the influence at the time of said action or inappropriate statement. Or if I was indeed thinking in the classic scientific sense, meaning synapses were firing and chemicals in the cranium were mixing and reacting, it was at a level more in keeping with single-cell organisms on the bottom of my shoe or in my hot dog.
Thus it is with some embarrassment that I admit to having bought a home, and freely inducing long-term suffering upon myself and others who live with me, including those fleas we had. Why would any sentient being do this to him or herself by purchasing a house? I still don’t know, but I bet it had something to do with a glossy sales brochure that lulled me into thinking gardening and DIY would be fun like it is on TV, and a fair bit of parental convincing using that uncommon thing people call “common sense”, not to mention a scandalously low mortgage rate. And what the hell else was I going to do with my money? Invest it?
These “life decisions”, as they are known in the world of human resources require various things to be aligned for them to come to fruition. (Funny, there aren’t a lot of “death decisions” — except for deciding on the color of my coffin liner, purple, and what to serve at after the funeral, most likely danish and coffee, not to mention the death decisions of what to eat at extra greasy fast food joints that haven’t been cleaned in 2 decades, and when I sample the local cholesterol-soaked croissants at the bakery.)
Often, but not exclusively, it requires a partner as stupid and starry-eyed as you, who has also convinced him or herself that this will “all be good — somehow”, knowing full well either a divorce lawyer and/or pharmacological support should be ordered in advance. Critical to this concoction is a financial institution, containing employees devoid of a conscience, soul or anything that could trigger feelings of guilt or honesty, that looks at you like a giant 12,000 gallon vessel of gullible liquid blood that it can leech onto for the next 3 decades, and smiles gleefully as you sign over your soul, wallet and life in exchange for “equity.” One can’t forget the prescription strength rose-colored glasses for you to overlook the fact that the pile of bricks and mortar you bought is really just loosely assembled, poorly maintained cheese cloth with a smattering of cement, bricks, wood and electrical wires ready to burn down that selfsame house.
Now, is there such a thing as free will? I like to think so, despite neuroscience proving otherwise, and it was this free will that let me think I was purchasing a roof over my head (an investment it isn’t, unless the insurance company would insure it for triple its value and then ignore the accelerant from the ensuing “accident” and I give the adjuster a massive, swimming pool-sized kickback) for the betterment of me and my family. Not to mention a place to put all my crap I have been accumulating over the years.
So, I can say I went into this with open, if short-sighted, eyes and knowing full well I was going to take it in the neck worse than a lamb sacrifice at the altar of the Old Temple in Jerusalem just before or after a battle with other hairy and testosterone-laden Mediterranean tribes. And I did and will continue to suffer for my sins until we sell the place.
Now I must focus on making more money to pay for this bag of bricks called a house. Thankfully it’s filled with love that makes it a home, if you discount my light and gravity sucking black hole negativity I emit.