Thursday, April 7

Do you mind?

The sick room was built for the comfort and utility of an ageless, bedridden female relative who enjoyed sewing children's clothes of imminent practicality--play clothes, school smocks, and costumes of delightfully ambiguous theme--but was easily exhaustible in the company of visitors. Sometime in the last decade she had accepted the invitation to stay at a boarding school with an infinite amount of mending and a small theatre to sew for. Not only was it a pleasant change from the confined space of the room in which she had lived for several years, but the country air suited her much better than that of the sea and the mountains and she could hear the voices and footsteps of children without having to be perpetually among them.

Her former room was kept tidy and clean but rarely used: the infirmary was a better place for seasonal complaints and riding accidents, and people generally kept to their rooms with their pneumonia and occasional bouts of rheumatism. The slightly oversized bed was bare of linens, and the small bookshelf beside it held a half-dozen second and third volumes of three-volume novels, all with broken spines and grubby pages. Every month, the room was given a thorough cleaning, on the housekeeper's orders. "Just in case," she reminded everyone in foreboding tones that spoke of an invalid doom to the younger maids.

Well, I actually started out with a scene rather than this setting, but oh well. Another time will do for writing up that. It needs to brew a while, anyway, I guess.

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