I looked up and saw a set of stairs leading to an open trap door.
I could see the outline of what appeared to be an attic.After giving the
matter some heavy thought, I concluded that I must have fallen out of it. My mind went back to the old Hamm attic . . . the ghosts . . . Snake. Snake! I felt a football-sized grin expanding across my face.This sug-
gested to me that I must be okay.To check this hypothesis, I took an inventory of my body parts. Everything appeared to be in working order. I gave myself a short quiz—name, address, Social Security number, occupation, present location—which I passed with distinction, the only sticking point being my present location.
I sat up and looked around. I was in a room with a few pieces of trashy furniture . . . drug paraphernalia . . . decadent magazines.There was a dent in the wall.This all looked dimly familiar. And nearby,like an island in the sea of dross and dreck, there was a scattering of reading material and photos. Oh yes, I finally remembered: the box and its long-forgotten treasures—a couple of books, lots of pictures, several empty beer bottles, and there, at my feet, a copy of the family history.The only things left of Inverness of yore.The ghosts of my past.
But everything was a jumbled mess. I couldn’t help thinking: This is like life.