from the collection of: p. botte

photo by: d. heidel

There are little imps that move in and out of the space I’ve got up above – they move in and out, usually quiet, sometimes stomping a foot here or there.  I keep a light on in the attic for them because that’s the courteous thing to do – we don’t need anyone (or anything) breaking a neck, even if they’re moving around unwantedly in the clutter of my attic.

I tell Reverand Brash about this.  He looks sternly out of his perfectly-shaped eyes at me.  Very serious.  He’s always very serious.  “We shouldn’t play with things like that,” he measures out with a voice that, despite the seriousness, sounds like maple syrup.  “We commune only with the Christ.”

I live in an old house.  Every year, it gets older.  I try to keep the siding nailed in place.  When a shingle blows off, I wait for a quiet, sunny day, and then I climb the long, spindly ladder to the top of the three story house and nail that runaway shingle back in place.  “We all have a place in this world,” I tell the shingle.  And then I give it a pat and tell it, “Your place is right here.”  I lay my hand upon it – feel the asphault of it warm in the sun and, with my hand there, I may feel a distant vibration as something within the house moves around the house as I’m sitting here on top of the house, unable to guard the doors, the closets, the attic, the fieldstone basement.  Free reign.

“All things and people have free reign in this house,” is what I tell Reverend Brash.  He tries to exorcise the house, he tries to exorcise me.  I let him.  It seems like the polite thing to do.  I don’t want anyone (or anything) feeling unwelcome while they sit (or waggle their god-beseeching arms) beneath my roof.