Sat, 16 May 2009 19:03:00 +0000

Everyone knows what their carpet at home feels like.

Mine is a soft, cushiony and medium-length layer flooring that conforms to the arches of my feet. When I step on it, I know I’m home — back in Kansas, where I grew up.

But this time I came home, I stepped onto my carpet and it wasn’t home. It was a foreign, shaggy material and not nearly as soft as home’s floors. It’s more “luxurious,” they said, and it is quite pretty. But I couldn’t say that with confidence because I don’t remember what the old carpet used to feel like.

“This doesn’t feel like our house,” I told my parents.

The walls are darker — no longer a puke green. The tabletops are granite — not the cheap, homely wood we used to have. And the bathroom floors are tiled with stone, replacing the plastic that used to peel upward when it got wet.

It’s nice, but it isn’t for us — it’s for the people we will sell this house to. In this real estate market, we’ve got to do something to make the value of our house rise. This, I think, will do it.

I don’t feel like lying on the carpet anymore, playing with my dog. I don’t feel like sitting on my couch and relaxing — feels wrong. So all I do is sit in a small folding chair, reading a book — it’s as if I’m in a hospital waiting room or an airplane cabin.

The house is empty, the walls aren’t ours. We just sleep here.