Local Observation / PIVOT

By Christina Oxenberg

Just like life itself it was a surprise to the new owner of the spacious London home when one afternoon a boy, maybe fifteen, let himself into the house, with a front door key of his own. He looked exactly like his mother.
It took some convincing but eventually it was explained to the young man the house was no longer his home. His mother had sold it and moved away, to another country, no forwarding information available.
The boy didn’t grasp the situation and asked to fetch his possessions.
“There aren’t any,” said the new owner.
‘Do I have to give you my key?’ The young man looked perplexed.
‘Yes,’ replied the grownup.
The young man pivoted fast. A technique he would finesse throughout his life. This was not the first challenge had crossed his path. In truth this was his path; he’d find out.
The boy upped the key and asked to use the telephone. He walked to where it had been, but it was moved. He could not call his mother as there was no number; he phoned a friend. A friend with parents and a few quid for a cab. The new owner of his former home let him go.
He left a house he had known as home since he was three.
Eons later and it would become possible to pull a photo from the internet and view this childhood home. Someone sent a link and when he opened it and saw the house and straight through the windows it had a spiraling disorienting effect. The second floor, his bedroom, was opened up and a wall was down so he could see clear out the back and across rooftops he knew intimately, every step from endless escapades.
The interior appeared under construction. Sunlight glowed, coloring scenes. The memories were nauseating.
Peeping from his laptop window was like a time-machine, reentering without need of a key. He saw inside himself. He was safe now, and that’s what mattered.