My Grandfather’s Bach: WIP

Semi-creative writing. Some facts have been changed and simplified to tell a story, at the expense of certain true beliefs. In particular, I have important goals other than the one mentioned towards the end.

My great grandfather left his house to his 12 grandchildren when he died. By the time I was born, it had been tidied and cleaned a lot, but hadn’t lost that comforting clutter it had in the old photos. Piled up on shelves and hanging from the ceiling, rusted old harpoons and glass buoys and lanterns. Hanging from the ceiling, near the potbelly stove, was an inflated pufferfish.

A good third of the house was taken up by the game’s room, which consisted of a full-sized pool table and a dart board. There was no way to move the pool table into the finished house, so the house was built around it. It was at that table, lining the coloured snooker balls and pushing them into each other, that I began to learn of things such as the conservation of momentum, friction, elastic and inelastic collisions, all my little experiments to see how things worked. I got excited before my first science classes in school, only for me to find that I knew all this physics already.

My first visit there was before I could remember. There is a video of my asking, in that way toddlers do, to be escorted past the gorse and prickles and bees, to the beach so I could play in the sand and the sea. Using the few words that I knew at the time, I succeeded in getting my point across. “Hand! Hand! Beach!”

The place was sold when I was 12 years old. Out of the 12 people that had a share, only a few wanted to keep it, including my mother. It was sold, and all the wonderful stuff that my grandfather had collected was sold or given away. I got the pool table’s scoring board and the stuffed pufferfish.. My parents have a glass buoy.

My parents spent the $50,000 we got from the sale of the house on a trip to and around Europe. That trip was amazing, moving between Paris, Venice, Rome, Athens, and a Greek island called Santorini. I still don’t know what I would have preferred. I know I miss that place, and I wouldn’t have missed a trip to Europe had it never happened.

My ideal reading place would be there again. If I can ever afford it, and it’s on the market, I’ll buy it again and live there. If I can do that, and spend the last 10 or so years of my life reading, picking up harpoons and lanterns and buoys from the sea, and living in that house, any other failures or successes of mine will be secondary.


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