It was almost eight years ago, and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were house-hunting in Atlanta.
The Great Corporate Salt Mine, had, in its wisdom, uncovered a sales position that would open up when one of our veteran Resin Pedlars retired in mid-1998. For my part, I had been looking for an opportunity to get back into field sales, away from the Goldfish Bowl cum Asylum that is Headquarters. And so the opportunity presented itself.
It was not a snap decision, despite the fact that SWMBO and I had always wanted to go back to the city where we had spent five years in the early Eighties. The Mistress of Sarcasm was midway through high school, and the move would mean uprooting her from her friends and dumping her in a new, unfamiliar environment in a town that we had left when she was but four years old. We let her have the final word...and her decision was to go with the move. Brave girl, she was.
And so we found ourselves looking at houses during a steamy spring week. Plenty of houses. There were a few that merited return visits, that had...possibilities.
We were in one such house, a spacious manse with four bedrooms (or was it five?) and a full, finished basement filled with gym equipment. It was a nice enough house, but it had a weird vibe to it. Something just did not feel quite right.
No, it wasn’t that old Amityville Horror family-murdered-by-son-on-rampage vibe. My mother used to play bridge in that house, and there wasn’t a thing wrong with it, she would say. Of course, she’s no longer walking the planet...
It wasn’t that. Nothing overtly eerie. But there was quite definitely something strange about that house, something that made my skin crawl despite the fine furnishings, large rooms, and flowing layout.
And then it struck me. There wasn’t a single book in the house. Not. One. Fucking. Book.
One or two videotapes, that was it. No books. Not even any sleazy dime-store novels with tales of True Crime and Throbbing Loins.
The Missus and I got out of that place as fast as we could. A house without books is a house without a soul, and we could not stand to be inside it.
[Inspired by this post by Mamacita of Scheiss Weekly.]