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Perhaps if you woke up one fine day after three consecutive grey rainy nights and days, with your mind like a merry-go-round, music included, you might welcome sunshine and the company of a dead man. Not your (or my) recently departed spouse but a stranger of sorts who died in April of 1959 before I had even turned four, happily playing with blocks instead of dolls, making dandelion villages using sticks and stones for boundaries, red clover blossoms for hedges, white clover for a herd of sheep. My older brother was at the periphery of my play, our gender roles often reversed as evidenced by shared memories, photographs in black and white from that time period at 156 Southberry Lane, Levittown, Long Island.


Perhaps that is why the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright, complete with cane over his left arm, entered this house, aloof at first, then charming in that generous way only ghosts can afford. Possibly, in life there is too much pressure even if you're not a world famous architect, to protect and serve, to provide and produce, to be perfect or some semblance of that. He was fastidious in his fashion sense, eyes alert and curious, hard-of-hearing, yet at ease with silence as if he had all the time in the world to speak, a luxury of the dead.


He appeared amused and approving of the Matisse prints near the wood stove, reached a long pale hand to trace the curves of several Raku tea bowls and vases on a bookshelf. "Why did you choose the white vase?" he asked, as if my answer would tell him clues to my inmost soul, which in fact would be the truth, since there are many reasons and he sensed that, smiling wistfully. "You can't take it with you, my dear," he whispered, a polite cough covered by an initialed handkerchief, carefully folded, in and out of his jacket pocket as quickly as a magician might maneuver. Following his train of thought and my own metaphor, I told him, "I was a magician's wife," or perhaps I just thought that and he heard me, smiling brightly when I added, "You and I both were married three times."


"Marriage," he remarked with a hint of reluctance, "is never what you expect, eh?" I swear his eyes momentarily were filled with a heavenly blue as his body faded into the cobwebs and hundred year old door jambs, every soffit of this house sighing deeply for lack of a better thing to do. I brushed my hair, leaving it down, creaked my way from the parlour to the kitchen sink, barefoot and pregnant with thought as I switched on the light to scrub pots and pans left to soak from last night's supper. "That was pleasant," I said to the hot soapy water, wondering if this would be the only visit from the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright, secretly hoping it was not.

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