And then we were three…

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Morgantown, Sarah Einstein, West Virginia
Tags: , , , ,

The homeless guy in our basement is gone. He made a brief trip to the regional jail for an old, stupid thing and now, as far as we know, is staying with a loose group of friends, possibly out of doors. We’d asked him to move out before the incident; after two years, he was no closer to being able to live on his own than when we’d first taken him in, and it was clear to us that he needed the case management services that he could only get by living in the homeless shelter. No one was pleased with the solution, but no one–not even the guy in the basement–argued against it. If any good was going to come of his being here, it seemed likely it would have come in those first two years.

Scotti, Lucy, and I live in the house alone for the first time since our marriage. My niece lived with us for a while, and a Korean psychiatrist who was here as part of an international exchange program. For a few weeks last summer, there was a second homeless man on the back porch.

I love you, I really do, but don’t ask to stay with me while you look for a new apartment or decide if you’re going to leave your husband. I’m sorry, but the guest room is full of Scotti’s papers and, as soon as I’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, the basement bedroom is going to be full of mine. I am not a person who can safely have empty rooms–I fill them up with people too easily–so we are naming each room in our house something other than “the guest room” or “the extra bedroom.” We will have Scotti’s study, and my study, and maybe even a dining room again.

  1. Kathy says:

    A nice essay showing character — yours! Good luck with Sarah’s Study. It is amazing how papers can fill a room. I look around me now at my office floor and piles of papers surround an unabridged dictionary in the middle of the room. Comforting.

  2. Gila says:

    I want to write to you (personally, not here). I think. I have old questions that may not be worth asking, but how will I know if I don’t ask them? You sound happy, Sarah; I’m glad of that. Do you remember the fourth of July at the U.N.? My kids do. I do. Time is such a non sequiter. I hope there will be a way for us to write. To each other, silly.

  3. inktarsia says:

    What amazing commitment you show for this issue–entertaining angels unawares. But hospitality has its own series of seasons. I’m so pleased you have a room of one’s own. Who knows what you will write there? And then another type hospitality is extended beyond the boundaries of the “empty” rooms in your home, through word and idea and and story and, yep, character.

  4. Sarah – I wish I was as courageous as you. I admire you tremendously. How is Mot coming along? Now that you are teaching do you find time to write?

  5. Giving your words a home and permission to live there and raise a large family is a generous act, too, and perhaps the most difficult — generosity toward yourself.

  6. Scotti Scottie says:

    1 year, 2 at the most, before someone else is living with us. Two collectors of anything and everyone will not last with this much space too long before someone moves in it.

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