It’s just a crooked screen door. Kind of Florida-like, kind of Victorian, kind of 50ish. One of those. It’s the rusty hinges that do me. The cheap haunted house sound they make. The way they pro-create their own tainted WD40, oozing like dirty glue, dripping down the door frame.
The hinges. My doorbell. My pit bull. The way I know if my next door neighbor, Maggie, is ready for coffee…sneaking over in her pajamas on Saturday morning ,hangover plastered on her face….if my Father has lumbered up the drive-way , "The beer-garden-fairy", on Friday afternoon, to have his “dearest darling daughter” chat, if my son has successfully stumbled past the benches and made it as far as the screened porch to make bodily noises and expel his Friday night at my feet. But, made it home Alive.
It’s the way I know if the mailman, who has had a crush on me since 1999, has left a package from SLB, loitering if he thinks I’m at home. The way I know if Daniel got my cut-off notices in his mailbox again, and is slipping them discretely onto the outdoor coffee table.
It’s the announcement.
Anyone that rings the real doorbell, stands on the front porch, and leans past the wasp nests, through the bouganvilla,to put their dirty little fingers on the front door button, is a stranger. God, I hate that sound. The ringy ding screams trouble. On the other side of that noise stand cops, Religious witnesses, pizza deliveries to the wrong address, men in uniforms selling fertilizer, frozen steaks, and serving subpoenas. I have furniture piled up in front of that door. Even in a fire, we’d have to run out the kitchen door, couldn’t be saved by the sound of the saving grace. We don’t do the front door. It’s the screen door that spells welcome. The screen door that is dressed in an old piece of oak, carved by Skinny , that says “This house believes…”, the screen door that I slam when I’m having a hissy fit, that I flit in and out of, creaking, squeaking, slamming…..
God, I love the noise we make
When we’re not strangers……