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He will live in a house in Europe. It will have good light and spare interiors. The look will be nautical: dark teak-like hardwood floors, light walls, brushed aluminum railings and high windows that let in natural light from above. Some walls will be glass, overlooking a courtyard, or perhaps a large patio overlooking a part of the Mediterranean Sea.

Framed art will hang on the walls. A lighting engineer will have designed the ceiling so that the art is illuminated in such a way so as to showcase the vivid colors at night. The large rooms will have low couches and low coffee tables. Black and white photographs, taken by artists he knows, will be clustered on a small wall, interspersed with free-standing sculptures or clever crinkled-paper origami lights, which cast warm diffuse light into their areas of the room.

No clutter, nothing to disturb the mind. Space to walk around. Visitors will be tempted to wander through the house with their drinks to look at the art or to sit on the couches and chat.

A large dining room with a large table which seats ten or twelve will be used for social occasions. Evening dinners. Women in dresses and martini glasses, men in sweaters who cross their legs and speak intelligently of their travels or their books.

Music will fill the air but not overwhelm the conversation.

The house will have an uncluttered look that never draws attention to itself. Comfort will always take precedent over design. It will have a welcoming look. The house will look like a pocket museum, but not sterile; it will look like it needs people to make it whole.

Somewhere in the house will be a kitchen with large granite countertops, barstools, cooking instruments which can whip up a dinner for a dozen. The pots and pans will have that black heft that a chef can appreciate.

In this kitchen will be a gracious woman who moves with an economy of motion which never draws attention to herself, and in so doing does precisely the opposite. The lights which illuminate the art will also illuminate her hair and the black dress she wears. She will be the emotional center of this house. A house is only a house, after all, but this is her house. It is his too, of course, but only because when he saw it, he knew she would love it.

When the guests leave and the wineglasses are rinsed and put in the dishwasher and the music is still playing, he will walk into the quiet kitchen and he will slip his arms around her waist and he will kiss her and thank her for making the evening so lovely. When the dishes are put away, they will retire to their part of the house, the bedroom with a large bed and a warm white comforter and big pillows, and he will slide open the glass doors to let in the salty air and the sounds of breaking waves, light some white tea candles, and after their showers, they will lie down in their sanctuary and kiss one another and graze each others' skin with their hands, discuss the evening's conversations, and he will brush the blonde hair away from her face and look at her while thinking that he is the luckiest man alive, that the house is just a house, but she is the one who makes it a home.


E2 Quest: More than Walls

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