We ordered the firewood a year and a half ago. My neighbor has tried to buy it twice since. He has a fireplace insert that keeps his home considerably warmer than ours in Winter. He sends me text messages asking after the wood. I tell him no.

What I want to do is step out on my porch and re-stack it. I want it tidy and under my office window against the brick of the house so that when the snow comes again, and it will, the wood is free of drifts. We burn it slowly, between colds because none of us can handle fireplace smoke when congested.

I want to sell this house. I often look at the wood and think it makes the place look homier. As if firewood alone could draw in a buyer, but there’s nowhere for us to go. What we want is more land, less house–a wish in high demand with the genies of Bloomington, IN.

So I sit in my office and think about the wood on the other side of that wall, wonder if we will be here next winter or if someone else will be burning that pile or replant the flower bed in front of it. Maybe someone will come in and uproot all my hard work including the way the wood is stacked now but I won’t care because I’ll be living in a home with no neighbors I can see, busily planting my orchard and gathering firewood from the forest behind my house.

I guess that woodpile is a dream. It’s semi-permanence symbolic of my family’s period of transition. My neighbor coveting it a representation of my own desire for what we do not have, but what we have the capability to consume should the opportunity present itself.

Or maybe it’s just a pile of wood.

What type of inanimate objects are you prone to overthinking? 

This is Day 8 of the 30 Day #LinkYourLife Challenge. Join me by finding the prompt list here.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

Discussion about this post

  1. I tend to under think material things, sometimes to my detriment, haha. I’ll get rid of things and Nathan will realize weeks (or months) later that the thing is gone.

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