There's an old rustic cabin way out where the woods get heavy, somewhere in the untamed North Country. Miles from the nearest town, moss-covered and in varying states of disrepair, it stands at the end of a narrow dirt road that winds through the pines, with blackberry and raspberry and thimbleberry bushes along the roadside that on summer days we pick and put in baskets and make pies and jam out of. Out back there is a sprawling wooden veranda of a porch where we sit around the fire and wait for the magical lights of the aurora borealis, and even farther back beyond the cattails is a wooden dock that goes right out over the water. In the daytime the lake is blue and cold, but at night when I write it is black and it reflects the yellow glow of the moon.
Inside, the fireplace is cackling, making grotesque shadows on the walls in the candle light. In the main room in the back, the walls are lined with bookshelves. There is a ratty but comfortable old couch, an end table, a small radio, and my desk looking out over the lake, where I stay up writing until sunrise. The pots and pans are hanging in the kitchen and there is a small hallway that leads to the little bathroom that smells like Irish Spring soap and well water and then the bedroom, where the bed is draped with brilliant Indian blankets.
I often go there nights, after the workday is dead and over. And slowly the noises of this place -- the alarm clock ringing, the car engine turning, the printer printing, the copier copying, the telephone ringing, sirens blaring and horns honking, the sounds of voices speaking colorless, unnatural speech -- it all starts to fade away.