I’ve used this theme before but this is a new one so it’s not cheating.
If walls could talk we might not want to know the stories they could tell.
Skyscrapers, hotel rooms, restaurants and classrooms – oh, they could tell you stories. They could tell you stories, but they don’t really know you. Not like the walls of a home.
If walls could talk they could tell you who used to live there. How where the nightstand now cradles the corner of the wall, that’s where they used to throw the slippers off their feet after a long day of standing for eight hours. They used to hop into bed, too, but not the bed where it is, closest to the bathroom. They liked it under the window, because at night they could smell the wind and the stars.
They could tell you of how that call came in about the job in Texas and the pregnancy test showed a plus, both on the same day. How they packed up and chased the smell of wind across the country.
They could tell you about how they were lonely while waiting for the next people to come. They didn’t like the ghost of the dog who died in the backyard. He walked with a limp and his whine was like long tree branches scratching on the eaves. Sometimes he tried to pee on the magnolia bush right outside the sliding glass door.
After cold nights with the whimpering dog, they’d tell you they felt fireplace warm when they saw the moving truck. When the 3 in 1 blender filled the kitchen, when the girl placed her ballerina jewelry box on the dresser, they boy stacked the tower of his CD collection, the mom and the dad kissed each other good night in the bedroom by the open window, before the furniture was moved in.
When all the furniture was, in fact, moved in, the walls tried to turn a blind eye to the living room and dining room tables. But if they could talk, they would say, really, do you really find that particular shade of mahogany attractive? They might refrain from mentioning it clashed with the green of the carpet.
They might ask – hey, what is the boy lighting by the corner of his bookshelf? If they could talk they would tell the story of how they didn’t like the pungent smell, how they were afraid the ashes would singe their surface, and the concern they felt when the garage door opened downstairs and the boy stomped out the cigarette with shaking limbs.
If walls could talk they’d tell the story of the little girl. The little girl who played with barbies and dressed their thin bodies in swimsuits and pinched the fat on her own thighs. Who played with the makeup in her mom’s cabinet when she was out getting groceries. Then played with ideas, of who she should be. Only the walls knew that after the family all sat around in the dining room to a nice meal she would go up into her room and use a finger to throw up that nice meal into the toilet.
Or when the mother wasn’t home, they might wonder who the strange woman they’d never seen before was. They might choose not to tell that story. Some things they might choose to keep to themselves, when the father and the woman locked the bedroom door shut behind them. Yes, if walls could talk there would be some things that they would not say.
But walls cannot talk. They would let you know if they could. They just listen, day in, day out, thinking oh, the stories we could tell.