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Art by Duy Huyn

Strangers are walking through my house.  My very clean and pristine house.  My almost not-my house. They did it yesterday for hours and hours and we stayed away.  They did it yesterday with their Real Estate agents and no one with any connection to the house was there.  

I know it’s done that way.  I’ve done it.  Still, it’s creepy.

Today, open house.  My agent is there.  Much more comfort knowing that she can . . . . I’m not sure what?  Protect?  Defend?  Make sure it is safe?  Direct traffic.

We were there as the Open House began, tail end of tidying up, wiping the kitchen sink dry.  As if anyone does that all the time.  Noisy neighbors from a street over came in first.  Good omen for me.  David used to love to peak in other folks’ homes during open houses.  Neighbors I do not know, live in a house I have admired forever.  Mutual admiration is a nice way to start. 

Then couples and people with kids.  I start to type ‘invaded’ but that’s not fair.  I absent us quickly.  I want someone to fall in love.  For no reason at all, I feel desperate.  My vibe cannot help right now.  There is something of the high stakes gambler in this home selling.  Fair market value: What a willing buyer will pay a willing seller.  Yeah, but: Is it priced too high?  Too low? Appropriate for the neighborhood?  For the time of year? For the buyer’s time of life? Has it caught the eye of the person who will offer?

My heart: I want someone who will love this house and garden as I have.  I want them to find the little fold down table in the kitchen charming, the sauna exciting, the fireplace enchanting. And the gardens! I want someone who will ask if they can help me clean and mulch the garden before they move in just so they can learn a bit about it with me.

My head: I want to sell for the highest price I can.  Is that too greedy?

The bedroom, formerly my room, is truly pristine. New bed not slept in, new closet configuration, chest of drawers, lighter than the one I usually use, brought up from the basement.  Even the night table has been re-styled — books taken out, doilies on wooden surfaces, casual blush tulips ready to fall out of their vase.  Not the nun’s cell I has originally christened it, more pristine, New England maiden aunt-like.  No surface to put a half-drunk cup of hot milk on, no chair or stool to throw clothes across, not even a dish to discard today’s earrings and rings.  No one lives in this room.  

If I was looking for a home, would that ersatz creation turn me off?  Would I be fooled that someone lived like that?  Or would I have fallen so deeply for the beautiful, useful kitchen and sun drenched living spaces — early spring, late mornings, the first floor is pretty much sun drenched — that the contrived master bedroom would go undetected? 

Viewings continue intermittently until 6 tonight and resume tomorrow at 8:15.