She wanted to live in a glass house with a real boy. There, surrounded by nothing but trees, they would listen to records and the music would fill the cavernous space between the transparent walls that contained them both. It would fill the air with the words of other people’s love and give their own love a narrative.
This house would be their own world with their own rules. The boy and girl would only wear clothes when they walked outside, but for no other reason than to stay warm. Inside, it didn’t matter, as there was no one to see them walking around their glass house but a forest of trees who did not care about their nakedness even a little bit at all. Adam and Eve, though these were not their given names.
When the seasons changed they could watch summer turn into fall and fall into winter and winter into spring from anywhere in their house, as the house was made of glass and only glass – a modern marvel, seamless, with no wood or nails or other cumbersome realities. A seemingly sturdy stack of cards with no hearts or spades.
On their floors, which were also glass, they laid woven rugs, threadbare and colorful, charming in their fray. The rest of the house was equally simple in decoration. Things were not important, especially when there was not a world you felt the need to impress. The boy and the girl knew who they were and needed not to express themselves with fancy things.
When it rained, the two lay in bed, their legs crossed over one another, feet touching, moving on occasion. Lying on their backs, arms crossed over their own bodies, they stared thoughtfully as the falling rain waged a pointless war against their ceiling. Their dryness would be thusly thanked, for they had built the perfect home in every way.
In the early mornings, as the sun came to visit from some foreign place, fog would try to penetrate their house just as the rain had, creeping over the hill like an oblivious enemy. Then, the girl would lay there, waiting with her eyes half open, the boy warm and sleeping by her side, watching as it crawled up their hill and reached for their walls. Its Hitchcockian quality never failed to shake her, reminding her that they were alone here, so deathly alone. Their dependence on one another was overwhelming. It made her question her faith in this house and this person and herself, though it was only fog. For two minutes she was filled with paralyzing doubt until she realized how silly a thought it was to be provoked by a fleeting thing like fog and so she would turn to the boy and bury herself under his chin, close to his chest, feeling the pace of his breath until she fell asleep, only to wake up to a sunny day.
Keeping a glass house clean was a terrible thing. Once a week, though they stopped caring about the order and name of days long ago, the boy and girl took to it with ladders and rags, cleaning it until the edges glared sharply in the sun like a broken cup, exquisitely shattered. The girl watched the boy as he cleaned and knew that she was in love and not imagining it. She would stop to stare at him, admiring with fondness the way his face sunk in on either side beneath his cheekbones, the way his forehead creased in perpetual concern, giving him the appearance of grave severity, making him seem older and more troubled than he actually was. Then again, who was she to assume such things; he, after all, was not a glass house himself, but a more opaque entity filled with many unknown contents. The parts of him that she saw were only those which he allowed: the edited bits that took countless things into consideration – considerations that were equally unknown.
And so, they rubbed spots off of their perfect house, sun further exposing their world inside, and the girl was happy to have him, here, in the ever-changing woods, in their house with cold floors and woven rugs, for however long he wanted to stay – a length of time that neither of them could predict with great accuracy.
Photo courtesy of James Welling’s The Glass House on Nowness.com