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lots of attention, but what for and why? I imagined him as an aged, living man, alone and dissatisfied, lingering after his death because he mistakenly believed he still had a shot at some earthly happiness, finding nothing but frustration and misunderstanding. I THINK I UNDERSTOOD WHAT MR. AND MRS. WILSON WANTED. They wanted us to go away and not come back, leave their home intact as they originally and lovingly designed it. Perhaps they truly wanted to be together there as they had only shortly been in life. Even the wallpaper in the master bedroom had been custom-made from a fresco in Italy they saw on their honeymoon. I hated most wallpaper, especially baby blue, and immediately set about stripping it. The second night I was in the home working alone, the hammering began in the basement. I had hired a general contractor to redo some of the bathrooms, and mistakenly believed he may have slipped in while I wasn't looking. It was eleven o'clock at night, an unusual time for anyone to start working on a bathroom. "Hello!" I called down the stairs. The hammering stopped at once. I walked slowly down the stairs, my Tiger Claw wallpaper perforator poised like a weapon. The basement, a 1500 square-foot room designed to be a fallout shelter by the forward-thinking Wilsons, a foot and half of poured concrete over my head, steel beams every two feet, was totally empty. I quit for the night. "There's something going on over there," I told my husband. He laughed and said I was too sensitive, maybe even a little crazy. His work kept him more 路 and more on the road and I was jobless, hence my designated remodeling position. In Russellville the main employer was either the chicken processing or nuclear power plant. When we went out with any of his friends or family, he told them about my tendency to hear things. I would pick at the paint on my fingernails as I listened to them laugh at my silliness. My labor continued, during the day, late at night, as furiously as my desire to move into the home I regarded more and more as a palace. We were living in a small, ordinary house with stenciled, pineapple remnants his first ex-wife had begun on the kitchen walls, a tiny, dark, narrow hallway connecting all the bedrooms. My elbows were constantly bruised carrying laundry baskets down that hall. Dense taupe carpet that absorbed the humidity lay on all the floors, except for torn linoleum in the kitchen. After our marriage, my husband had renegged on his agreement to allow me to remodel (it was his home), and fought bitterly with me over the discard of even an inoperable electric can opener. "Do you know how much these things cost?" he'd yelled when he saw it in the trash. "Eight dollars at Walmart!" I'd yelled back. "Try and get it rebuilt for that!" He was making Summer - Fall 2006

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Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho