The trailer was horrid. It wasn’t one of those reasonable prefab numbers that are surprisingly nice, and it wasn’t even one of the numbers that people make fun of in trailer parks. This Trailer was a reject from one of “those” trailer parks.
How it got to the area it spent the remainder of its days was unknown. The only thing know about this old bag of bones was that it was rotten.
The thing was, this vile trailer was a roof over a head, better than a cardboard box and the time spent in the Trailer wasn’t going to be forever, it was just for now, for starting out. We were lucky to have it.
The Trailer was the first house of a girl moving in with her new husband. Not the thing that dreams are made of, but you have to just keep repeating the phrase, we’re lucky to have it, lucky to have it, lucky.
The Trailer, a single wide, sat alone. Well, it sat in the close vicinity of a dairy farm, but that doesn’t really matter. It was a blue and white number. It had been a blue and white number. The outside aluminum was gnarled, dried up from its long life, weeping rusty tears from its seams. The whole trailer, when you looked at it from the side, sagged in the middle, the weight of its years showing. The roof had been dark brown tin, but was now a distorted rusty brown.
The smell got you first thing upon entering, or maybe the creaky door got you first. After swinging open the cackling door, the finely aged smell of mildew, dust, feces of various vermin living in the walls, and damp rug assaulted the nose. It took buckets of ammonia and bleach and rags wiping down every inch of the inside to help the smell, but it never really did go away. Even after shampooing the carpets it never left completely. It was a smell that set up shop in your memory and threatened to never ever leave.
Once inside, you have to step lightly because there was carpet and it was old, and there was wallpaper from the 60s when avocado green paint, orange shag carpeting and yellow and dark brown linoleum was in style. This trailer was no longer in style. Stepping lightly made you feel like you wouldn’t get the smell in your clothes, shoes, hair. But stepping lightly is what you did, because the feeling that if you brushed up against even the smallest of areas, you would get that stench on you and it would never go away.
But this was home, and it wasn’t forever, it wasn’t for very long. So a person has to make it home, best a person could.
The trailer knew it was an old rotting corpse with only bones left. Sun bleached, wind-torn, rickety old bones whose depression was contagious to any inhabitants.
It seemed a ridiculous thing to put the antique hutch a great grandmother had given in the dining room area, the new sofa in the living room, embroidered towels in the bathroom. All of these objects stood awkward in their place, never settling in, hoping they too were just visitors and this was all just temporary. All of it, trying to make a home out of this broken down trailer seemed useless.
I never lived in this trailer. A friend of mine did though. It was only temporary living, she lived there for the first year of her marriage. I was reminded of this today when she emailed me and mentioned that it looked as if, in my own life, I was ‘out of the trailer’.
That was one of the good things the Trailer gave up: hope; a way of looking at life.
This idea of getting out of the Trailer began when I wrote my friend a note about how she was going to be okay; how she didn’t have to live in the trailer forever, it was only a temporary thing. She got through it and now is in a new house that fits her and her family’s lifestyle. She got out of her trailer.
We all live in the Trailer from time to time. When money gets short and we have to downsize. When we are jobless, when nothing is going right, when we are stuck doing things we dislike, when depression takes hold, when faced with adversity…we’re all in that horrible Trailer.
But there is always hope on the horizon, and there are always good things about the Trailer we can look back on and cherish. Like my friend, she was pregnant for three months in that Trailer. She decided to start her own photography business in that Trailer. She spent a year getting to know her new husband over dinners in that Trailer.
I don’t know if I’m out of my Trailer yet. I have my own problems, money, self-sabotage, lack of a job, still renting, but who doesn’t have problems?
I think the trick is to look at all the crappy stuff the right way, I might still be in the Trailer, but this one is a double wide, it sits next to a quaint babbling brook and it is filled with all the things I love.
It can’t be that bad.
We all reside in the Trailer from time to time, but here’s to wishing that if you have to be in your Trailer, that the stay is only momentary and that one day you can throw up that For Sale sign and move on.