Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Hutch Network. I came up with this idea in a dream the other day, although I've been so crazy busy with work this week that I haven't had time to blog about it until now.

In my dream, I was heading home on the tram, tired and strung out from a close encounter with the Met inspectors. So I was kind of on autopilot as I got off the tram and started walking down my street... Then I suddenly realised I was walking down Donald Street, East Brunswick, which is where I lived years ago. I had been so tired and stressed that I had let some old, forgotten part of my memory guide me 'home'.

I started to get that wistful feeling of returning somewhere that used to be utterly familiar to you and noticing the small things that have changed since you were last there. Donald Street now had young but quite tall deciduous trees planted in the nature strips, which gave the street rather a different look. When I reached my old house, I was so overcome with tiredness and nostalgia that I just wanted to walk inside, go upstairs to my old bedroom and fall asleep.

I decided to knock on the door and see who lived there now. But when I went to knock, the door swung open and so I walked into my old living room, filled with someone else's stuff. I was standing there, overcome, when a chick walked in and started freaking out at seeing me. Her screams brought her housemates (also female), and they ordered me out of the house despite my attempts to explain what I was doing there.

As I walked away, back up the hill towards the tram stop and my actual house, I remember feeling very weary and longing for a system under which having lived in a house gave you some kind of right to sleep there - even if only in an uncomfortable hutch. Even in my dream I realised that this would never be feasible; imagine having to shelter complete strangers at your house, which you think of as yours, simply because they happened to live there at some other time.

But I reasoned that the hutch could be detached from the actual house; kind of like a cubby house in the front yard or on the porch, and it would be extremely unlikely that two people who'd both lived in the house would separately seek out the hutch on the same night. It could work! I thought in the dream.

It's stayed with me all week. Even though it could never work in real life, I love the idea of being plugged into a network of hutches in all the places I've ever lived. I like the idea that home - that feeling of safety and security you create around where you live - can persist in a space even when you don't live there any more.

The only reason you'd seek out the hutch would be if you happened to pass the house at a time when you were feeling particularly sad, stressed, tired or overwhelmed, and simply being able to fall asleep in the presence of a place you once called home could make you feel better.

I remember the time I stormed out of that party in goddamn North Melbourne after fighting with Nat about Sarah Palin. The party was just around the corner from my old house, and I sat on the steps of the church opposite my old house and sobbed and sobbed. I was unhappy in that house and I still loathe North Melbourne, but it was once part of who I was, and I would have happily crawled into a hutch there that night.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter