It started earlier in the evening, while sitting across the way from our very angry son. He and I had stopped off to feed two cats and a fish at my sisters house (they being off in the wilds of southern Utah for the week), making sure no fur balls or any cat like disasters or messes were waiting on the carpets that line the floors. That is when the conversation began to ease the tension, to break the ice. We sat across from one another on opposing couches, working our way through concerns, and what needed to change, when the large glass window by the front door began to vibrate wildly.
My first impulse was to look for the first item I could find that was suspended from the ceiling, thinking perhaps a small earthquake was in progress. Instead I was shocked to discover nothing was moving, only the glass within its frame, chittering and ticking as if it were a very rapid clock. L got up from his couch and touched the glass, which dampened the vibration, the resonance coming to a stop. Then once he returned to his seat it started right back up again, persisting through the entire hour long conversation, settling just before we left.
S and I like to collect turn of the century furniture, storing it for potential use or resale from time to time. The items of particular interest are bureaus, dressers, and stand alone shelving that have built in drawers and organizers (think old time doctors offices that used to be a common fixture before the sterile experiences of modern medical edifices that exist today). Typically we store most of these projects in a utility room, someplace where they will stay protected and safe from being further damaged from the elements they may have been exposed to in the past. Every few weeks, or in some cases months may go by, before we would venture into the room to check on how things were doing.
I know that I tend to sometimes forget the placement of things, whether it be keys, my eyeglasses, wallets, or tools mostly; slipping my mind as I go about the day, focused on one project or another that fills the daily routine. The utility room is one of those spaces that we think about, but not often, except if there is a need that arises, or a swap out that’s about to occur, which was the case yesterday. A single exposed light bulb is all we have to illuminate the room, with sunlight helping from a window on the outer wall. The item I was looking for was an old dresser, about 1.5 meters high, 1 meter wide, with brass handles adorning its maple finish. Just inside the doorway it sat, covered in a thin film of dust, waiting in a place that I don’t remember it having been before. I shifted it forward, one side then the other until it was in the center of the room, easy to see, simple to pull out of the room to be worked on.
The problem is, it moved back to where it had been before. Lurching on its own, I watched as it pulled itself, one side, then the other back, as if a recoil from a springs tension were at play. There is logic and reason that dictate and facilitate how the world operates, laws and rules compose our understanding of how the physical properties of all matter and forces that effect it. There must be some explanation for the why dresser moved itself backwards, some force that was at play and needed to be thought about. Once again I pulled the dresser forward, with a little more energy, sliding it back to the center of the room, closer to the doorway.
And then it moved itself back, just as it had before, with the difference being that as it did it, every other item in the room shuddered, shook, and rattled about. Once it was seated where it wanted to be, the entire room went still. This is when I decided it was time to get S, to see what she thought of all of this.