...where the music is like water rushing through you ... your function is really like that of a hose



Off a muddy road on a slab of widdled down Appalachian granite, Mary’s seven bedroom colonial had seen it all. The house would talk to you with every step, mimicking with creeks of pain. There is something to be appreciated about a century home on the side of mountain that had survived that many Vermont winters. Its life would continue until that old house gave up and decided to finally slide down the mountain. A future pile of ruble in the front yard -- two-hundred years in the making, something tells me that house knew it was going to have the last laugh.

Morton, with tissues stuffed into his nasal cavities, tried to concentrate on the conversation of the parties in the kitchen, but was fixated on the grandfather clock in the dining room adjacent to him. Tyler rambled on about this and that, apparently having enough in common with a sixty year old women and her husband to handle it all by himself. The chili-pepper lights of the kitchen dangled above their heads tinting the room with a red haze. The wine is red, the room is red and my nose is red. Bud told war stories about his time in Portugal sculpting his life away. Morton fixated at the clock and wondered when he’d get his chance to exit and fall asleep. He drove up from Boston that afternoon and had killed enough time between helping Tyler build the fireplace at the Temple, eating, drinking wine, and festivities with the Vermonters at Mary’s house to drowsy even the most caffeinated mongoose. He excused himself and walked up the stairs to the second floor, the old colonial talked to him along the way.

Morton slid his hand along the polished handrail that guided him up the spiral staircase. Upon reaching the top of the stairs he was greeted by an old wooden children’s school desk, the kind with the hinged surface that opened vertically to display the hidden space where a six year old once stashed his paper and pencil. Morton opened the desk and filed through the brown air-stained papers inside. Letters and scribbling, postcards in cursive, he shuffled through them and raised a small photo the size of a few postage stamps. Marilyn Whitmore, April 7th, 1906. The stern face of what appeared to be a female in her early twenties starred back at him. He focused on her eyes and studied her. A face of porcelain took him back to a time when you might have very well have had to be wealthy to have a picture taken. It was a serious task, to be matched with a serious face, more than likely the result of a serious life. A roar of laughter wafted up the staircase from the shiny-eyed participants below. Morton placed the portrait in his pocket. He reasoned that Marilyn had spent enough time in that desk and that was not a worthy mausoleum for a life of such virtue. Poor thing probably had twelve children. He’d take her with him, she was small, no need to fold her.

The second floor continued the country nick-knack antique store ornamentation. Tiny twin rocking chairs addressed the sitting room which lead to four bedrooms and another stair case to the attic. On the hallway to the bedrooms hung a drawing of a jolly English man in a nineteenth century suit hoisting luggage into a stage coach. He was in a hurry, presumably on business, tossing his luggage to the concierge. Wonder how long it took him to get to London? The bedroom, where Tyler lived a few months before, sparkled will dullness; a perfectly tucked floral bed spread. The bed posts rose to the heavens and had a linen drape that stood to enclose the mattress landscape if so desired. A cherry dresser with rounded corners was the only piece of furniture. Morton made a mental note to ask Tyler in the morning how living in a little house on the prairie treated him. Morton placed Marilyn’s photo on the dresser, undressed and slumbered. He would dream the irrational, on the surface of the sun, dancing with quick feet, pointing the barrel of a gun.

Marilyn Whitmore

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