Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Roof

I am 23 years old, and I still live under my parents’ roof, though sometimes I feel as if I live on top of it. You see, the roof is where I go to soak in the sun, to seek out inspiration, to surround myself with nature, and of course, to see the people who saunter below.

Now this may sound odd or quite dangerous rather, being on the roof, but I can assure you, it’s relaxing and fairly safe. At its highest point, the point on which I perch, which is not so much a point at all, is slightly slanted, though very much a flat surface. I’d say it’s about 15 by 20 feet, and no one has fallen off of it yet.

It’s only 4:30, but the sun, which is hiding behind a light film of clouds, has started to fall behind an oak tree. The roof, which appears to have been recently pelted by acorns, has a large shadow creeping across it towards me. Today is the first official day of autumn, and with the exception of the pumpkin on the stoop across the street, it seems like any late summer afternoon in humid Maryland.

The cat has come to visit. She is one of few visitors and has escaped from the house through the bathroom window, which I left open for her. I do not arrive here in that way. You certainly would not catch me squeezing through the bathroom windowsill, maneuvering around a balcony, and crawling on hands and hind legs up the side of the house on asphalt shingles about one and a half feet wide to get up here. That would be far too complicated. Instead, I arrive through the skylight via the green wooden ladder.

The leaves are still clinging to the trees, unchanged in color and filled with birds that sound like laughing hyenas, and the last of the pink Crate Myrtles remain in bloom, though they are nearly beyond their days. Luckily for me, I can relax here on cooler days as the roof maintains the heat of the sun, which seeps through my blanket and warms me.

For the most part, I am never really bothered up here, nor do I bother anyone below. Though there was one time a few years ago when workmen appeared on the roof next door and without hesitation, I quickly dove down the skylight or “hole” as I sometimes call it. It is rare that I am ever seen. And it wouldn’t matter if someone did spot me, but it’s almost a game for me to try to remain hidden.

The mailman has arrived – on the porch, not on the roof. He wandered up our path unknowingly seen, and is now filling our box with tuition bills. He has slammed the screen door in that obnoxious way and is cutting across our yard, taking the easy way out. Perhaps he would not care if he knew I saw him do so. Perhaps he’s seen me before up here…

No. I can’t even say the stink bugs that have flown into me, accidentally I assume, four times already today have seen me. If I knew any better, I’d say they were blind. Why else would they have thrown themselves so violently at me? And every time they did, I was as stunned as the time before.

Perhaps I will descend into the hole now.

No comments: