House Stories started when I saw something. What everyone else saw meandered off one way. Ah, but what I saw was something else again. A magical next happening imagined itself in my mind. And it was more interesting, strange and fun than what everyone else saw; interesting enough I told people. Again and again, I kept seeing wonderful magical things happen. House Stories was showing itself to me. And I was telling the story of another neighborhood that lived just out of sight, just a squint away.
After a while, we moved. It seemed like I left both neighborhoods and I couldn’t find my way back. Progress on House Stories, the book, slowed to a crawl. Even when I drove through the old neighborhood, I didn’t see people I knew or sense the other neighborhood. I wasn’t connected anymore.
And we moved several more times. For 41 days, we stayed in tents on a friend’s property. Not too long after dinner, the sun set. it was far enough from the city it got dark: no street lights, no hall lights, no table lamps. The sky screamed with stars but, when we looked down, it was literally lights out. Doing anything meant a lantern or flashlight. It was a bit like sneaking a flashlight into bed as a kid without the being sneaky part. Without sneaky as fun, unless the proverbial book is really really good, after a while, it’s time to do something different. And there’s nothing to do except prowl around, be bored or chill. I choose prowl then chill. Prowl became wander and I quickly added think; then wonder, question, imagine, reconnect.
I realized I’d been thinking House was somewhere else. But, she wasn’t: Nothing is any place other than where it is. Same with House and the rest of the neighborhood. They were never any place but where they were: right here. I had to learn the trick: remembering to squint. Then? I went to visit House. Then Squirrel came by.
Now I have another problem. I have to be Adam-the-name-giver. Just outside are the 43 episodes of House Stories. Those 43 episodes are again sitting and waiting outside my door. I can tell by their looks that I better have an answer for each and every one of them when I open the door. Ah, but that’s the catch. To name them, I have to understand them, know who they are. Which is a bit of a problem to figure out with this bunch. Who is a story after all?
Tomorrow: Part II