“Mornings go slowly, then the afternoon seems to rush away. I was besotted with this house. It was a love affair. Now I’m anxious and afraid again. I see every imperfection, every chip and dent. This morning I found dirt on the kitchen table. It wasn’t there the night before. It was the kind of dirt you find in a flower pot, dark, fibrous. My desk is out of true with the wall and two or three inches away from where I arranged it. That happened overnight. After we had been here three months I looked up in the bedroom and saw that the loft entrance was disarranged, just slightly open. The only conclusion I can come to is that someone else is living here with us.”
Houses, especially old houses, breath. It approaches the biological, moisture expanding, weighing down the boards and blistering the plaster: overnight a complicated, finished map can appear on your walls or ceilings. I think the changes in moisture create microclimactics behind the stucco, in the tiny gaps of the moulding opening doors with infinitesimal damp paws.
I’ve just been reading some Cortazar stories, of which this reminds me.