Storybook life

  • Aperture: f/7.6
  • Focal Length: 19mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/200 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

As I wandered the fields surrounding my dream house a few weeks ago, it was easy to imagine children running across the lawn, sliding down the crumbling banisters, calling to one another from the balconies, playing tag in the pasture beyond the rusted silo.

In its glory, the old farmhouse was probably a real beauty. Now it has been ravaged by fire, and most of what’s left is strewn throughout the grounds in a haphazard disgorgement. Bees have colonized every available nook and cranny, pouring out in an angry frenzy when disturbed. Weeds choke the property, making exploration an exercise in fortitude, determination, and sheer foolishness.

Still, I never have been one to see things for what they are. Not for long, anyway. I’ve always possessed the uncanny ability to write myself into a new reality, something I practice with alarming frequeny even now, when it’s no longer needed.

And so it was that I found myself high in the middle of this lush pecan tree, lazing a Sunday afternoon away with a Hardy Boys mystery in one hand and a juicy Red Delicious apple in the other. Below, the red barn gleamed in the summer sun, freshly painted by my brothers and I just the week before. If I squinted, I could just see them in the distance, the tops of their blonde heads bobbing in the tall broom grass as they headed for the pond. I thought about climbing down to join them, but the mason jars in their hands told me they were off tadpole catchin’. Yuck.

Besides, why would I want to come back to earth when I could spend all day living in a storybook world?

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