Posts tagged: prose
It’s eighty-eight degrees and feels like thunder coming. I’m walking, hoping for a good lightning storm. Some precipitation would help cover how much I’m perspiring. My shirt is just soaked. At least evening is coming. At least it will be cooler in the evening, and I can lie down and watch the lightning out my window. I can open the window and let the wind blow through the house and fill up every room with the odor of a storm. I will stretch out on the linoleum in the kitchen and press my face against the freezer door. The North Pacific will wash over my body as I sleep there on the hard floor. Later, I will wake up and close the windows and mop up the moisture left behind from the evening showers. My back will be stiff and my head sore while I drink a glass of water. Sleep won’t come easily after that. I must shuffle through every book in my library and scribble down notes of all the thoughts I am having until sleep comes.
Sixty years ago my house was built. It was built in the same fashion as a dozen other homes nearby, but you wouldn’t notice until you’ve walked through them. I know because we have friends with the same floor plan just two blocks over. It was built by a young contractor who had been an engineer in the war. He was happy to be making things for people and families—young families getting a fresh start just like his own.
The first owner was about the age I am now. He and his wife came over from Chicago. He had lost his manufacturing job after the war, but a friend from Washington had a sales job for him. He didn’t enjoy sales. He lost money. He took a job at the aluminum plant in the Valley.
He sold the house to a couple about the age of his parents. They were from the South and hoped it would be quieter in Spokane so they could enjoy retirement. They were happy. He fixed things and she like baking things for the neighbors for Christmas. Then the husband developed cancer and couldn’t walk. His son built a wheelchair ramp to the back door for him. His wife grew tired of taking care of him and left after fifty-two years of marriage. He moved out about a year later.
In the Eighties, a widower bought it. He worked in real estate and did very well for himself. He removed the wheelchair ramp. He met a woman and got married again. They lost most of their money in a bad technology investment. They bought an RV and traveled. The lawn fell into disrepair—a problem I inherited and still deal with today.
A young couple bought the house from them to flip it. They did a cheap fix-up job, adding a room in the basement and doing a terrible job of replacing the cabinet hardware in the kitchen. They sold it to me for a small profit. It was the third house we had looked at, and we knew it was the one. My son is the first child on the block in four decades.
We live next to a writer. He sticks to himself, but you wouldn’t call him a recluse. We see him on garbage day and sometimes can smell his barbecue. I know he likes to barbecue, because he writes about it in his column. It’s a good column. And I don’t like columns. I don’t read it every day, and so I wonder if he’s ever written about us.