I’ll be 60 years old in a few months, an age that as I write this, seems a bit shocking. When people reach the cusp of senior citizenry they naturally begin seeing an up-tick in the number of familiar obituaries or notes from far-flung places that so and so has died. Sometimes unexpectedly, like a friend I lost today, or sometimes after some ghastly illness that makes me want to go ballistic at the ne’er die with dignity crowd — unable to let someone die in peace without taking one last stab at how they should run their life.
In college I shared a house with a few close friends. We named it Bijou Manor and fancied ourselves a world apart. There were many things that made that place special, surely too many to write here, but one of them was my room.
Not long after moving in, I moved from one of the traditional bedrooms on the ground floor to a room at the top of the attic stairs. It was a small space, just big enough for a bed, a small chest of drawers, and a homemade writing desk. The floor slanted slightly toward the overgrown backyard and every board in the place creaked. The walls were paneled with ancient tongue and groove wood, permanently stained almost black from age and many coats of slowly disintegrating varnish.