There is a house I’ll occasionally visit in my dreams. I’m not entirely sure how it was built, though it seems a partial amalgamation of my step-father’s old house on the hill, the house on the lake and possibly a ski resort. It’s a nice place, don’t get me wrong, but the emotion I get when I visit it is never overwhelmingly one emotion or another. I enjoy the place, but there’s always this sense of looming melancholy. It’s like when the day is warm, but you look up and see overcast in the distance for a light storm that never quite comes.
There’s an immaculate deck on the second floor with a hot tub that cost probably half a year’s pay. The deck comes out on the side to a hill that descends to a shared beachfront. The bank is rocky, but a dock extends out away from it, a dinghy tied to the end. Teenagers, children, young adults swim in water that is never as cold as it should be and never as warm as a dream ought to make it. I don’t recall seeing adults in it; when I swim, I think I’m a teenager again myself.
Far out past the the swimming area, there are a handful of rocks with boast drifting to and from behind them. I don’t know what they do, what they’re waiting for, if they’re just fishing or if they’re waiting for someone to swim out so they can whisk them away elsewhere.
Swimming to the right, around a jutting bank, takes you to an isolated rock upon which an abandoned lighthouse sits. I don’t know if you would be able to reach it by ground or not. When I visited, I swam to it and climbed up onto the rocks.
I was with someone – a girl, I believe – but I remember her only in bits and parts. A flash of appearance here, a “Check this out!” there. We were friends, whoever she was.
I recall coming across an empty room set up like a private study, everything covered in dust. A small bookcase to the left of the room was packed with tomes of varying height and girth. To the center was a small, dirty window overlooking the bay. The sky was gray that day. A desk sat in front of the little portal to the outside world with a single rose in a narrow glass vase in the top right corner. It was dead, but not wilted. It looked more like potpourri on the stem.
A notebook rested beside the flower, an old thing bound in cracked maroon leather and a quill lay across it. I recall being tempted to open it. What scribings would I find inside? The musings of a man looking out at a sea he missed or perhaps never got the chance to sail on? A letter to a lost love or a woman waiting, warm in the amenities of their home while he made do with a small fireplace and whatever watery soup he managed to cook over it? More likely it was full of sparse notes detailing the observations of the day. Could you see the kids swimming from the lighthouse? I don’t recall that being the case.
I don’t remember much after that. I was called away, my friend and I climbed back down into the water and swam back to the sprawling house.
I’ve only been to the lighthouse once. I’ve visited the house at least three times, the most recent being last night. I don’t know where it comes from or why I go, but it’s…kind of nice. It’s different.
Did I mention that hot tub?