by Julia Buckley
On our recent spring escape (a two day vacation during which we were caught in a snowstorm), we drove past this house. Of all the pieces of architecture that we saw during our journey, this one was my favorite. Yes, it's a decrepit, broken down structure, surrounded by swampy earth and dead trees--but it was fascinating to me. What had it been? Had someone lived there? The pillars suggest a certain grandeur, but then again it could have been a banquet hall or a hotel or something. All I knew was that sitting before me was something that, in times past, had been new and pretty; history had happened around it, and eventually it came to look like this.
I suppose this is the quality that makes me want to write. I'm always asking "What happened here? What could have happened? What would it have been like if THIS happened?" And then my brain starts working around the posed problem, and it comes up with its own answers. I don't necessarily think of this as a talent; I think it's simply the way my brain works, and a book ends up being one of the results.
It's weeks later now, and I still wonder about that building. I wonder if anyone has plans to buy it, renovate it, make it what it once was--or if it will continue to decay, abandoned, forgotten by the present. I wonder about the people who walked around inside it. Where are they now? Who are they? What did this building mean to their lives? This house is a story that I wish someone would tell me. That probably won't happen, though.
So, at some point, it may be the story that I have to tell for myself.