Houses by Hannah Harvey

Burgundy bricks and feathers,
Will always be symbols of silence to me.
We lived in a house built of burgundy bricks. It was a little ranch house, surrounded by pecan and plum trees, nestled away in the hills. Down a windy road, take a left at the Smiths’ pond, and a right at silence.

We lived in a house built of pale, ivory bricks. It was a big Spanish style house surrounded by mesquite and palm trees, nestled in dunes of sand. Down a windy road, take a left at the two-story colonial, and a right at the oppression of two dreamers.

The ivory house was decorated on the inside with arrangements of greenery, flowers, and…feathers.
In that ivory house dreaming was not allowed.
Our family tree doesn’t grow in healthful soil.
Experts say that to properly nourish a house plant you can put scraps in their little clay pots.
You can feed your fern with coffee grounds, fish bones, and eggshells.
But we didn’t nourish our house “plant” with any of these. No, we poisoned it with hate and bitter silence.
The morning coffee grounds were carelessly thrown in the garbage can, the fish bones were given to the barn cat to lick clean, and as for those eggshells… I was taught to tread on them like they were a red carpet. What the experts don’t tell you is that constantly walking on eggshells hurts your feet.

We live in a house built of burgundy bricks. It’s an old house, nestled in the hills and nooks of the southeast. Down a windy road, take a left at the new neighbor’s pond, and a right at the brown-eyed child that didn’t have a childhood.
While I was being wrapped in a shroud of silence, others were playing hopscotch in the streets and running through the sprinklers in the summertime.
But some of us played a different game.
We played “be quiet and invisible until you are numb,”
Be quiet so Mommy won’t scream.
Be invisible because if Daddy saw what you really looked like he might worry.
Be what you’re not.
Be silent.
Burgundy bricks and feathers…
Do you ever feel like you’re disappearing?

 

 

 

Hannah Harvey lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She can be found with her books, buried in a novel, drinking tea, listening to indie music (Wolf Larsen is bae), thrift shopping downtown, or writing. She one day hopes to be an English major and work in publishing. After that, maybe she’ll buy a house in Cape Cod and chill.

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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