I Have a House


First Posted 09-30-2014

I’d like to say I had a column planned for today. I don’t. I’m so fired up about signing a lease for a house yesterday I can’t sleep. I moved to Richmond, VA in 2001. I was packing our car as the news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center was being broadcast. Three months later I’d been released on my own recognizance, moved out of the apartment we got, and started my life as an ex-husband, distant father. Then, upon getting evicted from a townhouse, I added “homeless ex-offender” to my list of adjectives. That was 2004 or so.

Almost a decade later I live in a hotel. I’ve been here almost three years. The rent is due every Thursday morning. 156 Thursdays when I’ve had to have another week’s rent or I am again homeless. This Thursday I can decide not to pay for week 157 and instead complete the move to my house. It took a week to get approved and the lease signed. I still feel like I live in the hotel. Paying for week 157 seems like the natural move. But . . . I have a house. I”ll probably be out by Thursday. To move to the hotel I had to pair down what I own. It’ll mostly fit into my car. Just . . . tonight, as I realize what I’ve done, the cognitive dissonance is a bit intense. There is, also, if you follow this blog, the oft repeated theme of, “and then things work out.” Once I calm down I’m sure this too will work out. To know that I have a house is incredible.

I don’t own it. Actually, if I’d been approved for a mortgage the bank would own the house until I’d paid off the mortgage or sold the place. So, “owning a house” is sort of a misnomer. Anyway, I’ve signed the lease, paid for the first month, and a deposit. I have a house. So, a house.

I planned on saying in this post that because I’m so wound up about this I’m not sure I can keep it together and keep up the pace of posting something daily. Then, as I typed those words, I realized it was a lame excuse. It is both a brag about having a house and a crappy reason to avoid putting up more content on the site. There are at least 90 posts on this blog. I’ve pretty much emptied the bucket of stuff that has been brewing in me. Now it’s hard to come up with stuff to write about.

Tonight, with the knowledge that I’ll not call this hotel room home any longer, I’m full of nerves and ideas. I have a house. I, the homeless ex-offender, the wife beater, have a house. Whoa. Usually, there would be a bunch of noble bullcrap about using the house for the Lord, about incarnational living, blah, blah, blah. I’m not feeling that. I am feeling a big, yawning, “I don’t know.” I don’t know what will happen with this change in my life. Just that now, I can’t call myself homeless any longer. And that I’ve rejoined the majority, with rent to pay, bills to pay, and yard work. I’m so happy right now, you just don’t even know.