On the Difficulties of House-Hunting


I look at the unit with dismay: it’s a dust trap, the kitchen faces the front door, and the walls are a hideous shade of pinkish-orange.  My brother notes the absence of leaks in the ceiling and the relatively intact walls, and asks the realtor when we can move in.  I kick my brother in the shins and make a mental note to leave him in the car during the next ocular.

* * * * *

My parents are understandably confused about my reluctance.  My brother simply attributes it to my blaring lack of common sense and shrugs his shoulders.  It’s difficult to maintain, I point out, too much surface area.  They look at me blankly.  The greater the surface area, I patiently explain, the greater the force exerted by gravityand more gravity equals more dustOh, my parents say, get a maid then.  My brother looks happy for the first time.  I kick him in the shins and make a mental note to not say anything to my parents after the next ocular.

* * * * *

My brother is idly surveying the exotic flora flourishing in a unit we are checking.  I tell him to stop staring at the fridge’s contents and to examine the rest of the rooms with me.  It doesn’t take too long.  In fact, our heads nearly brush the ceiling.  The owner looks up hopefully from the lock she had broken to make way for our entry.   Sorry, my brother says with a straight face, we need enough space for two cars.

* * * * *

How’s the house-hunt going? Our little sister asks.  She is sitting on a white monobloc chair fronting a glass-topped table in our present condominium unit.  We’re having lunch.  She wrinkles her nose at the mismatched utensils and the incompatible furniture.  (Think of it as “eclec-chic,” I told her after her first visit.)  Not too well, I admit.  My brother rolls his eyes and promptly averts his shins.  I thwack him anyway with one of our mismatched spoons. 

* * * * *

It’s not so bad if you pretend you’re in a bomb shelter, I tell my friend helpfully.  She’s over to stay the night and is looking askance at the wallpaper’s trompe-l’œil ducks.  She assures me she’s fine, and points out that my suggestion is inappropriate in any case as the unit lacks the structural integrity of a bomb shelter. 

I wonder if Crusoe had similar issues when Friday had to move in.

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