LILY WENT straight to her room and put herself to bed as soon as she got home from school today. She’s been sick the last couple of days and had to stay home, a crisis of purpose she had never known. Lily loves school and proudly presents her “purples,” the color of the certificates her school uses to reward good students, like trophies from the hunt.
WE DRIFTED up and down the streets of the oldest part of town, the neighborhoods surrounding the Collin County Courthouse square. Dead winter leaves crunched under foot, wind chimes clinked quietly, and weathered flags, both American and Texan, gently billowed. These are the kinds of houses I wish I was haunting. Broad lawns provide the stages on which these proud ladies stand, their opulence rivaled only by their variety: delicate Victorians, somber Neo-Colonials, earthy Prairie Schools, prim Queen Annes, patrician Greek Revivals, romantically tortured Late Gothic Revivals. The formality of the facades conjure fantasies of a child’s piano lesson, bountiful Thanksgiving dinners, and first formals. However, each one seems to unfold behind itself in sections, leading the imagination into the kinds of rooms where great dramas have played out between detached husbands and frustrated wives, secretive sons and rebellious daughters. Misty longs for a house like one of these, a house with a story. As we ambled past them, she audibly sighed several times.