Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Barn

Well. It's not much. But there it is. Stallion Row.

The door was red when I knew it, and then it was resided in diagonal weathered grey slats that one summer by the two guys who broke her roof by dropping load after load of shingles on it. Someone's painted it green. A green door. Hmm. OK.

I used to walk up that back path to the barn every morning when I lived at my aunt's. For a few years we had a chicken coop where the blue barrel is. That was a failed experiment, but we dug out the earth next to the ramp there to make room for it. No one ever added the material back.

If you walked in that large slider... (I heard on the radio today that a group of nine subjects can correctly identify a recording of their individual house or apartment door closing behind them. The sound of that slider is still right there. And the vibration of my hand on the metal handle as it opened every morning. And the smell of the warm hay and dusty horses coming through the door, washing you in a concentrated burst first thing. And the murmur of the horses as they knew their breakfast was coming.) If you walked in that large slider, you walked right into stallion row. Ten stallions on the left, hello boys, and six double stalls for mares and babies on the right, hey kids.

Walk up the aisle to the Middle Barn. Walk up the ramp to the Upper Barn. Go up the hayloft and toss down some bales. Here's the Upper Barn where the barn swallows lived. But it's not the same. We never had that gate and a fence blocking the drive just there. That damn electric line is there still though. Guess you guys couldn't get Boston Electric to come move that damn pole, could you? The one George always bumped with the snow plow once a year. It must still be there, blocking parking just to the left of the picture. And you added a silo. That's cute. Not a bad idea too, considering the rats we had to fight off there at the end. But you know? This is definitely the Upper Barn, and it brings back memories. But the silo and the fence are so distracting, that I can't feel what it's like to walk in that front door.

That back entrance? Jeez, everytime I see that picture I just see them all lined up in there. Binni and Tirf and Perri and Najid and Rory and Ned and Val and Marchie and Hal and Phario and Hellas and Portico and Abe and Mystic and Karada under the stairs.

And from earlier days it's Nat and Tilly and Twigga and R and Nana and Tiger and Friday and Rocket and Heifer and Handsome and Aragorn and Canyon and Donnie and Remi and Hero and Katie and Rosie and Steeldust and Folly and Max and Alaska and on and on and on.

They're flashing now like some film strip on speed: bay, bay, bay, grey, chestnut, grey, good, cranky, schoolie, pony, Sweetie, Prissy.... The deaths, the births, fluttering like a flip book. Which stall they were in when I was a kid, which stall they were in when she died. All from the creak of a door and a peering down into the darkness of a barn aisle.

I guess google searching her address was fruitful. I think. But that picture is disturbing and overwhelming simply because I could have been standing there yesterday and taken it yesterday. Or I could have taken it twenty years ago when I was in High School. It's the same damn door. And so much has changed. But not the door.

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