I had a nice old colonial house that sat in a clearing with clusters of weeds growing around the foundation, but for some reason I always slept on a straw mat laid out on the front lawn, curled up in a wool blanket that had gathered thistles and thorns. There was something appealing about forsaking the shelter of the house in exchange for being out in the open air, under the stars, exposed to the elements, and all just mere feet from my door.
One morning I awoke to find a small group of people gaping in at the windows at the corner of the house beside the front door. I wasn’t bothered at all by the impropriety. I just rubbed my eyes and crawled out from under my blankets. I heard them complimenting the rustic furnishings, the carvings on the wood, the inviting comfort of the interior. There was a desk there beneath the windows, nested in the little nook at the foot of the stairs. There were wooden figurines scattered on the desk, their fine details painted to various degrees with a toothpick and a set of acrylic paints. A magnifying glass on a metal crane shined a light down on this cluttered work space.
I fell in along the back of this clustered group, almost impersonally partaking in their gaping admiration of my house’s charming interior. But I knew I was going to have to tell them the truth. I wasn’t responsible for any of it. The previous occupant had done all of that. All I had ever done was hang some paintings on the walls.