Is this country just a house of a country? hmm. home?

We've been sleeping over at 901 Sunset most of this week with Heather the dog. She's a dreamboat dog. The house is really haunted though. I'm sure of it. Fog covers its street, up its hill and over. The split level staircase creaks as no one descends. Deer crunch the forest leaves between the sunroom, the archive, and the highway. The furnace bubbles in the closet and steams across the entrance. A woman with a single flickering candle walks alone down Sunset past the towering water treatment plant. Over morning coffee in the glass room, Eliza and I discuss how easy it would be for someone working at a water treatment plant to secretly poison everyone without anyone noticing. The barbed wire and the sinister light shiver me inside my late-January parka. Nathan and I walk Heather on Saturday at midnight and he tells me it feels like Halloween outside. We spot an unwavering light in the sky and call it Jupiter for the rest of the night. A group of five joggers pass me in unbroken formation the next morning. A retrograde motion type slowing occurs to me as they visit and then advance. They converse with one another as though running doesn't affect the lungs. I mutter "Sunset Road" under my breath and shake my head to myself. One house is built of Adobe painted bright yellow. Across the street, an annex sits in a coat of painted grey that suggests an inmate--someone held captive inside. It's something about the blue grey and its angles. There's also a yard that sits on this street with a highback, full bucket baby swing hanging from a tree straight above a man made fire pit. Does someone have plans to burn the baby? (My sister fell into a fire pit on a birthday because she was backing away from the celebration candles).

And the archive. The two keys to its America red door hang behind the useless violin shaped object in the kitchen. The red key goes to the top lock and the blue key goes to the bottom. I shouldn't be telling anyone about this, but the door says  "Virtual Museum. Imperfect, full of promises." or something along those lines. I open the door to this space for the first time by myself. I'm saluted by the 44th president of the United States, directly behind the door in cardboard cut out form and surrounded by noteworthy red, white, and blue clutter across towering ivory walls. The naive, untried cardboard Clintons are there too. This space itself is the size of a house. Hillary's expression can't seem to take up the amount of space it wants to. We're both intimidated by the powerful men and their counterfeit faces. Not today. I mouth "Holy shit" a few times to myself before I sprint inside to retrieve Eliza and Mia. First, I backtrack to take another look at it all. Mugs, bumperstickers on the ceiling's beam, disintegrating bonnets stitched with rallying cries for women's suffrage. It all seems sickeningly appropriate. Michelle with her bicep flexed, riveting, "Yes We Can." Can we? She can. T-shirts, baseball caps. All American. A welcoming, elderly (senile) voting booth almost flaunts how analog it is. It asks "Should we spend $90,000 dollars to build a new prison?", "Should we spend it on a new school?" It hurts to know the questions haven't changed since who knows when. I chuckle at a photo of George W. holding binoculars with the lens caps still on. Then, I don't chuckle anymore. Were minstrelsy dolls once actually involved in the US presidential campaign? Apparently. Is that the haunting? That the existential questions about punishment, and color, and education never change because we shan't overcome the limitations of our nature? Nasty. Abominable. Offensive. God Awful. Rotten. Disagreeable. Corrupt. How much money will some museum board of rich folks eventually pay to obtain these signatures and campaign buttons? I open the unused fridge and find a metaphor--decomposing gourds and Coca-Cola. Fuck. Haha. Almost too good.