As I write, a fountain bubbles outside remarkable windows. It was bubbling when we arrived. No note was left instructing me to turn it, or the fountain outside the guest bedroom off, and I wasn’t about to go hunting for control panels or plugs. Both fountains—one lion-mouthed, the other fit for a popular pharaoh–bubble on into purpling evening. Whether doors/windows are open or shut, I hear water.
This consistency of sound is comforting.
I don’t need comforting, but do give me a constant outside of anything I’m used to as I recline in a borrowed house, worn from a day of solo-parenting and—oh. Listen:
- An animal just skittered across the roof.
- My son slumbers in the guest room, blanket pulled to his fair chin. Earlier? I threw him into nature, my aim so exact he melted down from glory. But there is a bathtub in this house–deep and claw-footed with silver taps completely unlike ours at home and perfect for dangling small, cheaply caped, plastic heroes from. Miracle bath for the wonder boy…Calm prevailed.
- The doors here are mirrored—3 panels of mirrors to a door, any door—closet or dividing or otherwise–my image broken wherever I turn. Never seeing the real me is unsettling and a relief.
- Glancing up from the keyboard—my face in a third of door-mirror, my head backed by pleated lampshade backed by bookcases loaded with titles provoking the novelist in me. Tortureblisstorturebliss…
- Pretty sure we’re staying in the house of the ghost from Pottery Barn past (is there any other kind). Thank you for paisley patterns with birds mixed in. Thank you for jacquard and haiku-inspiring peacocks emblazoning cushions, tapestries, carpeting, life. Thank you for weathered wood far more aesthetically appealing than any wooden items currently occupying my living room (probably because my wood is weathered from cat scratches or cat pee scent removal solutions instead of The Aesthetic Brigade, who obviously know what they’re doing).
- And, at last, (or at least since last March when the rainclouds went on strike) we’re only 75 miles from my heated valley, yet we’re cool—25 to 30 degrees cooler here at any severely pinpointed minute. This is what a little extra driving on a Friday in rush-hour, dredged gumption and energy previously classified as untappable get me: my sweater. And a sweetly, deeply sleeping, hopefully-sweet-dreaming son. Those thrills. O. Heaven…
There’s a poem in this house. It skittered through my hair and down my back (no, not creepy). Unraveling.