Dear Wigleaf -

We live in this old house, not so old, really, not in the big scheme of things, the long arc of history, but it's probably a hundred, and that's old, the triple digits and all that. The floors creak like hell, especially on the stairs, and that's not the only noise on the stairs, because that's the place (if stairs are a place, really they're no place at all) where you can best hear our neighbors, whose stairs are on just the other side of the wall. Our first night in the house, I heard my next door neighbor speaking on his staircase and took it for a ghost, a ghost with a French accent. It was terrifying.

Here's the thing about the floor, across which I tiptoe, nights, hoping not to wake the boys, hoping not to step on some sharp plastic toy: it's just pieces of wood. You can go down to the basement, look up, see the underside of the planks. The whole thing seems horribly insubstantial. There are knots and holes and cracks and my older son found one spot where you can lie prone, put your eye to the floor, and look down at the basement below, directly into the laundry sink. Thin floors, barely-there; seems like a metaphor, doesn't it?


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Read RA's story.

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