Thursday, August 7, 2008

made up stories

I make up stories about people. but only for my own amusement, not to be shared, and never about people I really know.
I make up stories about people who live in the houses I pass as I ride my bike.
emigration canyon gives me plentiful fodder for this pastime, and I was in full swing this morning.
an example: there is a house along the road that is architecturally stark and uninspiring. to me, that is. the roof is flat, the windows appear to be placed at random, and there is just something missing. something to soften it, to add visual interest, to give my eyes a place to rest and say, "ah, yes." the house has one large, multi-paned window that faces the road, and through it I can catch the tiniest glimpse of the interior. you would have to hypnotize me to find out what I really have seen through that window, but my impression is that of a study, of file cabinets and desks and papers and work.
a few times I have even seen a woman who appears to live in this house, out walking her dog or collecting the morning paper from her driveway.
so, I have decided she is a writer. the house feels like the kind of house you could lock yourself away in for months at a time, writing away, lighting a fire in the fireplace when the weather turns. she is a solitary soul, and her huge black dog keeps her safe, and sane. perhaps one semester a year she teaches a course at a college in the city . . .

there is another house up the road where a man with an expensive sports car lives. this house has fabulous ironwork on the balconies and the front gate, and beautiful windows. I can't tell much about the house other than it's large, close to the road, and of some interesting design. the interior could be stunning, or it could have one of those floor plans that gives you a headache. I think these people travel a lot, and fit that "yuppie" category. no children, good jobs, life far enough up the canyon to be away from it all.

of course I know nothing about these people, but my mind wants to create facts and situations and experiences for them. I give these people relationships and stories, and snug it all up with a belief that all is well.
not that bad things don't ever happen to these people, but that they are resilient, that they will survive whatever life throws their way. that all the difficulties they face in life are temporary, and that when looking back on their experiences the overall feeling will be one of peace and understanding.

if people were to make up stories as they rode past my house, my hope is that they would say something along the lines of, "the house is visually interesting, probably has a few great nooks and crannies. I can see lots of books stacked on the tables that tell me whoever lives here loves to read. and she probably has kids and loves them like crazy, you can just feel the love oozing from the bricks . . . here lives a woman who loves to ride her bike, in fact, I think she must prefer that to yardwork . . ."

a little bit of truth is an okay thing. :)

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