Friday, August 28, 2009

In The Cellar You Can Set Your Mind At Ease

Who among us hasn't yearned for a nice basement drain to lay in, curled up naked, enjoying the coolness that cellars always have? There are places perhaps more romantic, more exotic, and sunnier, but there's nothing quite so refreshing that's usually so close at hand. If you're without air conditioning upstairs, you do have it downstairs, on the floor, on the lowest part of the floor.

There are things about the cellar that I don't like that much. I associate it with storms, because we'd always grab the first aid kit and a radio and head to the cellar. And the bugs. There are strange crawling things in the cellar. Bugs with two heads. Bugs with 100 legs. Bugs with pinchers, stingers, hooks, offensive stink emissions, poison. It's a wonder bugs get along as well together as they do, with the vast offensive and defensive equipment they're always packing.

And there are things about the cellar, besides the coolness of a low drain, that I like. Such as the shelves of food we used to have down there. Grandpa would be bringing in baskets of stuff from the garden, and Grandma would be boiling it and putting it all in jars. This is what they used to do. They had some interesting stories of keeping food on hand back in the old days. Meat buried in hardened lard. The iceman putting ice through a hole in the wall. The milkman bringing his cow to the door.

I started off OK last night in bed. But I soon became very restless, tossing and turning. I couldn't sleep, so worried, so conflicted, so stewed up about everything going on in my life. Vast and terrible scenarios were playing out in my mind like a war. So I got up and went to the cellar. It's been cool lately so I didn't take off my pajamas. But I did lay there on the floor for a while -- I left the light on and looked at it dangling up there till my eyes got fuzzy and I slept. It does seems like when you're as low as you can go it puts your mind at ease more easily.

I woke up a little earlier because of the discomfort and stretched. There's some pain from being on a concrete floor. But I stretched and that made it better. I brushed off a couple of two headed 100 legged poison-pinching bugs and decided to sit at the chair and little table. I pulled out that box of books, from the same place down there where I found the Sex and the Single Girl book last year. I was picking through it. It's all musty.

Suddenly my eyes perked up. Down in the bottom was a folder and some papers having to do with the grange. The past comes calling!

Looking around the cellar, I came to one unmistakable conclusion. The cement floor, the drain, the light bulb, the furnace, the table, the chair, the boxes, the books, the shelves, and everything else my eyes beheld ... Other people have been here! I do not know when, I do not know who ... Maybe it was just Grandma and Grandpa and our family. But over the years, at some time, whether in building the house, which seems certain, or since the house has been built, which equally seems logical, Someone has been here!

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