THE LAST SOULS.THE HAUNTED HOUSE (CONTINUED).BY STEVEN BENSON

He/I was told that there had been, upto a few months hence, two women tenants remaining in the property. This was yet further disconcerting and uncanny. The “Flats one, two and three : entrance via the garden”, wonkily daubed on a side door(once an entrance itself),referred to three erstwhile apartments at the back, in the basement or on the ground floor.

Strangely, he/I thought I had known one of the former residents: the house matched her description of the main part of it being derelict and untenanted; of her and her friend living in two flats(I think) at the BACK of the house. She had named the same road; and the two other decrepit houses nearby did not quite fit the description.

Lets call them Emily and Amy……

Emily and Amy, aged around 60 (ladies of a certain age!), lived, till around six months ago,in these “garden ” flats; they had remained there, long past the eviction of the other tenants, because they(alone) had secure/regulated tenancies(she had told me/him that too); that is, the tenancies were pre 1989. They were, consequently, very hard to evict. They had loved their garden, which I /he had been told, by his/my current “informant “, had been “immaculate”: a jewel amidst decay.

Some months ago, I had asked(pre-supposing these two women to be the very same denizens) one of them if she had felt spooked by the empty remains of the house; she had said that it did not bother her; she seemed to live in a dream-world, talking of a landlord who “just needed to see to the windows”(!), as if they would prop up the whole disintegrating house. What the condition of these remaining tenanted properties became, in their last years, remains moot. But they had created their own quasi-eternal rose garden in the wilderness of desuetude and transience; for a while, anyway. I wished I was able to see it sans trespassing and (sadly) seen what it might have become, of late; but workmen watched the site assiduously.

So he (the sebaldian-esque) narrator/I IMAGINE the garden and their lives:caring for each other, as best they could, and for their precious, precarious garden. There is something unquantifiably and ineffably moving about these oases of preservation within surrounding decay; or of making beauty WITHIN dereliction. A sort of passive resistance against natural and economic,inexorable forces. Sebald would have approved:).

Needless to say, Emily and Amy WERE (eventually) evicted(on some obscure ground) and the flats were re-possessed; then the developers swooped in (again).Were are they now?What remains of their beautiful garden, shoring up fragments against mortality.

____________________________________

{Next: the story of the second empty house in the third-derelict street}

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Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

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