Thursday, September 01, 2005


It is a white frame house, freshly painted, on a gentle hill. It has no windows, except a little room at top with two tiny round portholes, curtains closed, like shut eyes. Around the house, yellow grass. There are no trees, no neighbours. We are standing in front. "This is our house." These words come as a thought, not from you, not from me. It is understood that here is where we will spend our lives. We go inside, me leading the way. In the darkness, we see ornate heirloom furniture, heavy grandmothery armchairs and sofas with doilies on their backs. The air is musty, suffocating. We need to get out - fast.

We are outside. The sunlight is brilliant. The house is blinding white, too white to look at. All around, an empty yellow plain, leading to a flat, featureless horizon. We have set up a table. On it we have gathered remaining things from our previous life - file folders, candles, some pots, a few odd mugs, two broken pencils, a clock with no hands. We intend it as a garage sale. But it is clear that no one will come to buy.

-- published in The New Quarterly #95 (Summer, 2005)

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