I wrote this during sophmore year of high school, for a creative writing class. It was one of the few classes I actually looked forward to in high school for itself, not just because it was school. I always welcomed the chance to learn, and it even happened within the four walls of a classroom at times. I actually think this has aged pretty well — either that, or I haven’t learned anything about writing in the intervening years. (For the record, I prefer the former.) One hesitates to put such things up, especially from the past, because they might be unintentionally more revealing than intended, but…here goes. I still think I’d like to live there, although my current location, while not as tropical or mountainous, still conforms fairly closely to what I envisioned then. What did your dream house look like? Is it still your dream house?
#4 – April 15 – Dream House
If I could have it, the place I would want to live in is an island. Called Ithuvania, after a place in a Far Side cartoon, it has everything I need. It is a smallish area, a dozen or so miles square in size. Verdant, tropical jungle runs right up to the broad, sweeping beach of fine-grained sand. On the north side of the island, the hills climb slightly, rising to a craggy peak on the north-west corner of the island. To the east of the mountain, starting at its foot, is a plateau. Some of this grassy plain is used for a garden and a landing strip for the occasional airplane, but most of it is left wild. Waist-high grasses wave and rustle in the sea breeze. All along the western edge of the island are short, rocky cliffs. The jumble of boulders reaches right to the water’s edge, preventing any entrance from the sea side. A freshwater stream, filled with melting snow from the mountain, flows east onto the plateau before bending south and meandering through the jungle, emptying into the ocean. A small pier, made of stone, juts a short distance out at the northernmost end of the beach. This is where the monthly mail boat docks, bringing letters, packages, books, and occasionally supplies. This is also where my guests, if I choose to invite them, first set foot on the island. My house is rather simple but meets my needs. A wooden floor of planks, made from trees cut down from the jungle, is raised on stilts about a foot or so off the ground. The roof is thatch, thick and waterproof; posts driven into the ground support it. There are no walls, only mosquito netting when the bugs sometimes get too bad. At the rear is the kitchen area — primitive but clean. Next to that and taking up the rest of the back half of the house, is my bedroom. In the left front corner, as seen when entering, is my study. Here I keep my books, papers, what little money I have, and my notebook computer.