I awoke early (eight thirty!) & was on the road within an hour. I had found some basic directions on the net the night before & was confident I could find my way as long as I payed attention to signs. But the lay of the land was still semi-familiar after two years & as I found my route to Dodgeville & then Spring Green I didn't even need to consult the two lines on a scrap of green notepaper that comprised the entirety of my driving directions. The drive did however, take longer than I expected, or rather, it seemed to take longer than I expected without the distraction of passengers as company & only the road attending to my journey. I listened the spacey music of The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld & kept calm in my anticipation of the day.
I arrived at the grounds just before eleven & stretched to my content in the parking lot. Waking early & immediately sitting for an extended time does not do well to my body & it took some walking to feel right again. By that time I was at the main entrance & already gawking. But my trip this time wasn't for sightseeing, it was to settle in, make myself at home & enjoy a quiet, relaxing day. I tugged open the front door, entered & purchased one ticket for a day at The House on the Rock.
I've always loved the place. It is utterly unique in layout, architecture, light & mood. There is so much to absorb you can't take all of it in simply by shuffling through in a line with your hands behind your back like in a museum. It must be "experienced." In short, it must be "lived in." That is what I came to do.
My first walk-through of the house was purely cursory. I found a guide at the entrance to the Infinity Room, an attractive young lady named Amanda who answered many of my immediate questions & promised to find more information for me that she did not know off-hand. I explained I would be easy to find as I would be at the house the entire day & continued on through my first tour. I made note of all the couches & comfortable places to sit with good views or adequate lighting. There was one long L-shaped bench with red cushions across from a large fireplace, under a low-hanging lamp & next to a slanted frame of small square windows. In another room a couch sat against a wall separated from the 1921 AB Chase player piano by a Tiffany lamp. Midway down the flight of stairs to the exit stretched another off to the side with more of the outward-slanting windows providing & intimidating view of the forest floor 60 feet below. Selecting the first of these choice spots (the others I would enjoy later on,) I sunk back into the thick cushions & pulled from my bag The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, 1st ed., published 1905, & began to read.
My favourite book. A very rare & special printing of my favourite book. In 2005 it's weathered pages turned 100 years old & to celebrate all this I read it cover to cover in a single day, pausing only to take a meal & to stretch my legs. I sat in hushed silence as Skarl beat his drum, I listened attentively as Slid bore me his soul, I searched for Ranorada in the deserts beyond Bodrahahn. I secretly feared, as only men could fear, while Yun-Ilara cursed Mung from the Tower of Days by the sea, I watched in reverent awe as the gods sailed in their galleons of gold down the river of silence & whispered strange things when Yadin the Prophet was carried away beyond the rim by three great flamingos.
As I read many people passed me by. All were polite & friendly, taken also by the magic of the place. Some sat on the couch with me, but not longer than a moment for their company to catch up, or to take a quick rest before continuing on. As I read I heard faint music from the other rooms. The song of the day was Tangerine on the AB Chase piano, & every time someone deposited two tokens it's gentle music wafted in, muffled by the lay of the rooms, but tones still clear & pleasant.
I did all these things in the space of a few short hours atop a natural sandstone pillar & under the roof of a brilliant & amazing man whom I will never have the honour of meeting. But for a while, just a short while, that house was my own. I could come & go as I pleased, I could sit & relax where I wanted, browse bookshelves, stroll about in thought, all without trouble from guides or other company trying to hurry me along. I lived there for a day & shall remember it for a lifetime.
If I ever win the lottery or come about a substantial amount of money I shall build a house on a rock of my very own, up in Spring Green where the land is still clean & quiet, & still unburdened by too many people. I shall model my new home after that of Alex Jordan & spend the rest of my days enjoying them to their fullest, in a house built just for me.
- E V I L O U T -