Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gene who?

From Crazy as a Loom


I have been cleaning my bookcases out. Found this story I wrote June, 1989.
Thought you might like it.


The Building

It started with a simple garage attached to our house, but as my father's antique and secondhand furniture business flourished, he added on, and kept adding on. This structure became known as just "the building", a label comprehensive enough to cover it.
Its resemblance to a garage ended with the lone, battered overhead door. It lacked the integrity of a barn, for its metal roof had no specific course, but traveled up then down, then up again, as if a drunk had eyed those timbers.
Though a great deal of business passed through its double, hard wood porcelain knobbed doors, marred by nightly applications of a heavy, metal bed rail in lieu of locks, it was not a proper store front either. There was no crafted sign sporting a catchy name.
The building was my refuge. It was a secret place I often got lost in, where I discovered my real self lurking. I retreated to the furthest, darkest corner, squeezing through the narrow path left unoccupied, scrambling over piles of junk. There I roosted in the stillness, unmoved by the lazy buzzing of sluggish bees that hovered in the heat of the rafters. The air was heavy with a musty, but comfortingly familiar aroma, while dust floated silver on shafts of sunlight. Occasionally, my black and white mongrel companion would sniff me out, and I would hear his every paw step over the creaking floor, until encouraged, he would pick up his pace, and the whole side of the building would shudder and shake all the way to the ceiling, with glassware of all descriptions chattering in protest.
This hodgepodge of nail studded walls, and divergent levels, strangely positioned entryways, and grimy, cracked windows nailed shut, of silky cobwebs and crawling things, served many purposes. The tiger striped cat hid here under varnished oak dressers, and behind silvered looking glasses. The horse lived in a make shift stall at the back, where a "slippery when wet' ramp led to what was left of the back yard. During fall hunting season, lifeless deer hung in the open doorway, wide eyes staring, tongues hanging out. On those evenings, the building was a social place, with husky voices laughing into the night, while the gleam of bare light bulbs tumbled out into the driveway.
One Saturday afternoon, we had an auction there, and an awesome variety of wares spilled from those doors onto the sparse gravelly grass.
On at least two occasions, everything was sold to a dealer, a seedy looking character, with seedier looking cohorts, who loaded and packed each and every item onto a tractor trailer truck, as if each were priceless.
Then the building was a forlorn and empty place, like a house without people, a barn without animals. There was no mystery, no primitive magic.
Then my father would begin again. Without explanation, he would fill it up with new treasure and old trash, and the building would fairly sigh with relief. All the old corner would reappear, the cubbyholes, the pathways, the skyline of the current conglomeration of goods.
Yet somehow, though it was always changing, for me at least, it never changed at all.

I dreamt of my father last night.......and it was appropriate that I found this today.
In my dream, I was picking him up from hospital, but of course, it was just a dream.
It made me hopeful though, that someday, I will see him again.
I'll bet he has another building full, wherever he is.

And so now you know, why I have 10,000 lbs of fabric. It's the gene pool, people, it's the gene pool.
That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

5 comments:

Gjeani said...

Hilary, I think you are a great writer, thanks for sharing.

from my front porch... said...

Great writer! Really, you should submit this story to a mag!
I think your father was giving you a nudge; and yes, you will see him again :)
xo, misha

Cabo said...

That was absolutely grand. :)

(btw, I always dork out when I visit your page because your taste in music is KILLER. ha ha!)

Sharon said...

What wonderful memories of your father! Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Love the story! Thanks for sharing... how's the porch coming?

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