Sunday, February 13, 2011


At eight, Gabriel was the type of boy who was constantly seeking to occupy small, dark spaces -- the nooks and crannies of the house, garage, backyard, and so on. And if no such nook existed to his satisfaction, he would build it, preferably high up in the trees. Perhaps it was a consequence of his upbringing. You see, eight years and six or seven months ago, when Gabriel's mother and father became aware that he was on the way, a decision was made. The older boys were much older and not open to sharing their rooms with a newborn. So, mom and dad kept Gabriel and his crib in their room until he was ready for his own space, and what was once the kitchen pantry became a mattress lined cubby. Of course, it was not designed as a kitchen pantry either; it was merely the space above the stairway going down and below the stairway going up. In fact, as built, this interstitial had no floor, but rather it had a forty-five degree plywood ramp, which was also the ceiling of the lower staircase. To convert it into a pantry, Gabriel's father had installed a floor that was three feet high, and accessed by a step ladder. To convert it into a bedroom, Gabriel's father lined the six- by four-foot floor with bedding foam. From the very beginning of his occupancy, Gabriel bounced all around. He was obviously very pleased to live in the cubby, and because of this his parents were pleasantly surprised and felt validated in their decision to place him there. They could not, however, foresee the ways in which it would shape his entire life.

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic. What a spectacular intro. I was totally absorbed from beginning to end. Please continue this!