Drew and I arrived in Charlottesville Virginia with loose plans of where to stay. At least, in my head they were loose plans, but Drew knew exactly where he wanted to be.
Just a few days more than a year after Drew had packed his bags and left the “man-house” without more than a plan to “travel,” he stepped back into the doors, not as a house-mate but as a house-guest with a wife by his side.
I looked around a house I’ve almost entirely known as a casual friend’s house in my year in Charlottesville in 2009 and the feeling of passed time seemed to shout at me from the paint-chipped walls and the remembered corners of the cluttered kitchen. I sang here once with these men and talked over tacos after church. And I did these things with the pangs of other heart-breaks and insecurities hidden in my chest. I could not have possibly seen this place as my husband’s house and no part of me could have guessed that I would find love in this friend. Nostalgic thoughts wrap strangely around the surfaces of this house like wispy cobwebs to get into my lungs.
I am learning the new identity of this house. I am not a causal friend as much as I was. Each of these five men are warm and loyal and every hour spent here feels like the camaraderie of sitting around a campfire. Drew spends his days talking with these close and deeply significant friends and playing sports with them as men love to do in their bonding times. I sweep from room to room and also from conversation to conversation, sometimes diving in and other times observing. …ever analyzing the puzzle of human emotion as I tend to do.
The basement of the Man house is becoming a bit of a home here in Charlottesville.