Monday, November 22nd, 2010

My Darling B and I were out for a walk in one of the swankier parts of town where the mansions were four and five stories tall. Densely built hip-to-hip along the street, they made a fortress-like ring around a city block a half-mile wide from street to street. The ground floor of every one of them was made of ornately cut stone, rough or finished, while the upper floors were built of elaborately jointed wood that hung out over the street, buttressed by heavy timbers, imposing as elephants standing in a row, guarding the entrance to a jungle temple.

We decided to cut through the middle of one block just to see what the back sides of these grand old houses looked like. I was shocked when we found them literally rotting from the top down! The rooftops were overgrown with trees whose twisted trunks and knotted roots had pushed up and cast away hundreds, maybe thousands of slate shingles that were caught in the eaves or heaped up against the dormers. The scattered shingles gave the impression each tree had erupted from the attic spaces, rather than grown over the years from a seed that happened to lodge under the edge of a shingle, then grew ring by ring from a sapling to thick-trunked crookedness.

Great, rotting roof-beams were visible through the shattered dormer windows and gaping holes, and as we crossed the central courtyard, a breeze stirred forgotten papers, once bundled and stowed away in the attics, now broken loose after years of weathering, and sent them fluttering down around us, page by page. On the other side of the yard, a waist-high stone wall was piled with bric-a-brac like a yard sale. Items that had come raining down through holes in the ruined walls above had been carefully retrieved from the driveways and back stoops. What was on display were things nobody wanted any longer. Valuables, if there had been any, had already been gathered up and spirited away, and all that was left were old hand tools and typewriters.

The tools were mostly in good shape, just very, very old, but the typewriters had taken an awful beating. They were beautiful old models with chocolate-colored, carefully lacquered finishes, embossed with gilt trademarks outlined in royal blue. Most were broken open, or at least had one side bashed in from the fall. The thick beveled glass of the few that were designed to proudly show off their inner workings was cracked or smashed. The carriage return lever had been broken off every one of them.

I sank to my knees and wept. B put a hand on my shoulder and let me.

A Dark Rain | 6:29 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags:
3 Comments | Add a comment


  1. 1 The Seanster said at 4:13 pm on November 22nd, 2010:

    You really need to clearly indicate when you’re relating a dream; I thought this was something that actually happened (crying on your knees and all), until I saw the tag.

  2. 2 Dave said at 6:17 pm on November 22nd, 2010:

    I thought the trees growing out of the rooftops would’ve been a clue. Sorry, there’ll be no red flags for dream sequences. You’ll just have to take them as they come, same as I do.

  3. 3 The Seanster said at 10:31 pm on November 24th, 2010:

    Well, fine, then.