March 20, 2007

Tiny Homes #1

Maybe I'll start a series of photos of small houses. Why? I don't know, what do you think I am, the answer man or something?

The problem is, the first house will probably be the smallest, making the rest of the series superfluous. Well, less work for me, anyway.

This is the smallest house I know by sight. I've never been in it, but I would imagine it has room for a kitchenette, a minimal bathroom, and a bedsitting room. Hard to imagine why it's set apart within its own frame and not stacked up wiht a lot of other equal-sized boxes in an apartment complex. (I know, pioneer houses were often smaller. I'm not talking about them.)

The photos make the place look bigger than in person.

It's a rental house, I think, and I wonder who's rented it over the years. For the same monthly payment, you could probably get a modern two-bedroom apartment. The ideal renter for this house would be someone who craved enclosure, someone seeking a life of coziness, whose ambition was to become a character from The Wind in the Willows. Walk home from the market with a brown paper bag -- one brown paper bag to hold a week's groceries -- and heat water in a kettle and serve four cups of tea: one for yourself and three for your animal friends. Someone who thought it was her duty to occupy as little space as possible in this world. Maybe someone who spent very little time in that house, who spent most of her time in a huge office building with frightening vistas of endless aisles of cubicles; who shrank further and further into her cubicle and longed for the end of the day, when her shrinking would be thankful rather than scared, because she'd be returning to her proper refuge, candlelit and potpourri-scented, with a narrow bed, and stuffed animals lined up beside her so she wouldn't fall.

Different from the Tiny Homes movement that's been written about here and here. Not as extremely tiny as those, because not part of a self-conscious movement. Not trying to make a point or sell a novelty. Just trying to remain unharmed, snugly overlooked but sometimes smiled at, amid the terrible bigness of everything else.

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