I’m not exactly sure what it is that makes a “house” a “home.”  Maybe it’s the sense of a space having been lived in.  Maybe it’s the way the bones of the house arrange themselves around you when you walk in.  Maybe it’s like Justice Stewart’s definition of pornography: you’ll know it when you live in it.  I can tell you this, though.  The new house in Vallejo is home in a way the Glen Cove place or even the Brooklyn house never were.

We didn’t intend to buy a house so soon after moving here.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I told A five or six times that I’d be just fine staying in the rental a few years while we figured out where we wanted to live and found a place.  Except… the Glen Cove house had bad juju.

It made sounds.  Not “house settling” sounds, but “someone is in the house and walking around” sounds.  “The house is talking to me sounds.”  A sheet of glass in the garage spontaneously shattered, exploding so hard that it sent shards of glass flying a good ten feet away.  A light bulb in the upstairs bathroom that was screwed into the socket fell out, crashing into the sink.  And Z invariably said “hi” every morning to something neither A nor I could see.

Glen Cove House

                        Glen Cove House

Then we found out the prior occupants of the house had been an older man, who either had Alzheimer’s or was mentally ill, and his younger relatives.  The neighbors told us they thought the relatives were using the man for his social security check.  The bathroom downstairs had a lock on the outside and smelled like urine.  The neighbors were pretty sure he was locked in there most of the time.  We think maybe he died in there.  Because that house was angry, and it was mean, and it was sad.

The new tenants moved in on Halloween.  They seem nice.  I hope the house likes them.