the door to the back front of nothing to say

March 18, 2014

my son
stands at the screen to the front/back door
looking in at me.

this door:
it opens to nothing, well…
a parallel sidewalk from door to door on our building,
and then;
a small but dangerously steep hill
leading down to a stone retainer wall covered by a chain link fence
and an alley of garages, rows of other domiciles, back up to
a shopping center (so much pavement) and
an electrical substation which occasionally discharges an ominous boom
to echo over the valley of the condos just before our power goes out.

yet this door has a nice view – esp. of the sunset
(though a lot of civilization obscures
with the signs and wires and what not).
here lies our little domain:
our view of an urban canyon (with trees – pretty trees)
from the thin crest of a hill between the building and the slope;
enough room for adventure or relaxation,
a side-walk, a pleasant breeze,
a beer in the evening and a little guitar
as children run/ride/scoot back and forth endlessly.
in my mind this is our front door.

the door on the other side is the one we use
for coming and going.
it opens onto the patio
which opens onto a parking lot
where we park the car and only play at our peril.
i grew up once, and when i did
the patio was in the back –
so, this is the back door.
it has every appearance of a back door
i refer to it as the back door…
which confuses everyone.
cause its the door we mostly use and
my children call it the front,
and the other side (the side to the sunset) = the back.
well, which side of the house actually faces forward?
there’s no way to know!
how arbitrary is this naming? do i just yield?
at least we can all agree on which wall is the side of our home.
just one though,
cause the other side is also the side of someone else’s home
and she shares both her walls…
so what do you call that? – does she even get a side?
no one wants to take sides on this issue.
but the whole front/back thing…
maybe one should be called: the door to work
and the other: the door to play.

so, is this about perspective?
or regional language differences (patio vs porch)?
or the wonderful things our children have to teach us if we’re only enlightened enough to open our minds and blah blah blech.
this is about how:
as my son stands looking at me
with his face and hands pressed against the screen;
he is eating a pear.
and is slowly pushing the smooshed up, partially chewed pear
through the little holes of the screen with his tongue.
its gross but its fascinating.
yep, thats what this is about.


7 Responses to “the door to the back front of nothing to say”

  1. Ryan Roling Says:

    Lovely and gross. Nicely done. Very gross image. (BTW: If I touch our dog, I wash my hands, no matter where I touch her and whether or not she gets sneaky lick in on my hands. As much as I wish she weren’t part of our family, she loves to sit under my feet at I sit and type at the computer. Gross thing. Lovely, too, I suppose – but don’t tell anyone I said that.


  2. Jimmy Says:

    I see this so clearly. Thanks for the photo. (Which is a negative meaning flip around so maybe the front is the back in a true picture of things.)

  3. Lindsey Says:

    How do you know whether you’re coming or going?

  4. Rachel Says:

    I am on your kid’s side. I have always been confused by the calling of your green door the front :).

  5. Gail Brown Says:

    I can see it all now. The front is the front whichever you use.(:

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