I finally achieved what I had long searched for deep in the mountains. Scrabbling together my savings, and buying a cabin from a family of an old-timer who had ceased to be old because he was now dead, I took up residence in his two-room cabin, with a loft, and bathroom because he could no longer make the trek to the outhouse. His family seemed glad to be rid of it, and in this bull market, they didn’t ask a penny over the asking price. Nobody had bid on it. I was somewhat taken-a-back that nobody else wanted it, but I guess it’s not near the schools, the parks, the churches, or the entertainments of civilized society, so I can’t blame the average person for not making an offer. Mountains are for visionaries who see majesty in rock, and not in shopping malls. There is a general store down the road, where I can get the necessary supplies.
When I signed off with the realtor, she smiled when she took my signature. I felt violated. There is something wrong with her Acura SUV, short-cropped hair, and high-water pants stretched to the seams. It isn’t that she is greedy, but she isn’t good. The condition affects creditors, loan sharks, time-share salespeople, and realtors. If someone is getting screwed in a business, you can bet the business is bad, and the people attracted to it are even worse. She is just the type who would have her friends over for sugarless cookies, tea, and gossip, which always turns into a financial bragging contest—indirectly, based on their husbands’ salaries. Wisely, their husbands avoid these parties like the plague.
The owner—the son, looked responsible, decent, honest, and nearing retirement, but the cabin couldn’t be his because he had a wife, kids, and 15 potential grandkids. I think he was Catholic based on his conservative dress, churchy suit, and hair-style five years out of date.
We did our business right there in the gravel driveway, and I guess I can’t complain too much. It was terribly efficient. I had a house, totally secluded on 20 acres of my own land, and the rest belongs to the government. Nobody has logged up here in nearly 50 years. The old road, is dangerous to go down, if you don’t have a low gear, and if you have a drinking problem. I have both, so I hope that the danger of sudden death will cure me of my borderline alcoholism.
When I was left alone, I walked inside. It was just how the old man had left it. It still smells of leather, and coffee. There is a feint scent of sweet pipe tobacco. He had an extensive library. Many of the volumes are in a language I can’t identify. It looks like Gaelic, but I don’t think so. The leather-bound books are not published by publishing houses. They were handwritten, and I wonder if the old man did it himself. The books I can read are on the subjects of magic and philosophy. Most of them are nearly 200 years old.
To be continued…