5 minutes 9 seconds| This was inspired by a framed illustration seen at a vintage store. Visiting vintage stores was a favorite pastime of my girlfriend and I in our early relationship, and this musical composition, I believe, was one she may have liked.
Time stamp for creation: 2/25/11.
Novel-in-Progress, excerpt 13| The following section of my book is the oldest and best developed. It predates my father’s death and, during most of my two year benzo addiction and recovery, I did not do much more than tinker with it. I am still grappling with the meaning of these pages in context of the rest of my story. Each section of the novel is like a set piece, or fairy tale, and this one, which begins a trio of set pieces, begins in medias res:
How Lowell Talbot came to have this house was unclear. An elderly aunt had died, and after Tupperware from the wake was washed, sorted, and returned to its rightful owner, this left him with a few sticks of furniture and a front door with no lock. Initially he was determined to keep up a brave face in the desolation, though leaving an indelible mark on a featureless landscape required inordinate resourcefulness.
Consequently the homesteader became a hoarder and perennial displayer of Christmas decorations. Harsh prairie wind offered resistance to this idea. Everything was made mindless by it: It stunted trees, decoupled copulating insects, and cajoled senescent wallpaper to whistle in timber-framed houses. Little ground was given to form opinions, and those not carried off by self-inflicted gunshot wounds succumbed to erosion after a while.
It was not unusual to see the curator on a ladder with a stapler, even in sweltering summer, refastening felt snow blankets and strings of blinking lights to his roof where wind succeeded in prying them loose. He conducted a daily inspection of his little acre, righted toppled plastic snowmen (weighed down with bricks), and sponged off his eight cedar reindeer. His nostalgia-themed house was both a bunker and shrine against entropy and its undoing.
By day’s end, and on most days, the wind wound down to a whisper; and where weather was not inclement, the prairie at dusk was too much for a brooder to resist. The homesteader often walked the boundary of his property and scanned the horizon for signs of encroachment, and one evening saw what he first thought to be the planet Mercury low in the western sky. When the twinkle did not budge over several days, he deduced a new weathervane caught the last glint of daylight over the hillock. An uninhabited house lay in that direction, and this development indicated someone likely took up residence there.
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