longing for Long – pt.1

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First off, I have to say that there are at least five Long Islands in MAINE alone so please don’t say “don’t you mean New York?” like most of the fools I’ve told about my childhood home say to me.

My dad built this amazingly weird and wonderful house (that some said was actually a “cabin”) on this tiny island in Maine called Long:
This map shows you exactly where.

He hand sculpted a fireplace from cement and stone that looks like a cat (he says it’s a dragon) complete with stones for teeth and pipes for eyes that came from inside the chimney that had little amber marbles in the front of a cat shaped eye that would glow when the fire was tall enough (it was a treat to make those eyes glow).

He put a claw foot tub on top of a hand made stone and cement woodstove in the bathroom so we could fill the tub and start a fire and have a hot tub for as long as you want. When that stopped working, the only option was to shower standing in the middle of a wide open bathroom/shower room that had a showerhead hanging from a hose dangling from the ceiling.

All the doors were thick – at least four inches – and hand made with wood bars that you turned from vertical to horizontal to “lock” the door.

There was an outhouse with an old phone booth door that was spray painted on the inside and latched with a rope for a door.

There was another outhouse with windows from a trailer.

There was a toilet upstairs, because his girlfriend got tired of peeing in a bucket at night, that used water from a hose to fill the tank.

The washing machine had no outer casing so you could watch your clothes washing. This machine was inside a room that had one wall made of fiberglass and that’s where my father practiced his agriculture. This room had a door to nowhere (but outside) that my friend Vinnie jumped out of in his doc martin boots on a dare (he landed fine but no one else has copied him).

I can still hear the sound of the fridge latch.

The front door had a lion with a ring in it’s mouth for a knocker.

The giant oriental rug that was on the floor in the summer would cover the front stone and glass wall to try to keep heat in but I would sit in front of the fire place, with the kerosene heater on the other side of me, and when I would turn my face up and exhale, I’d see my breath.
I hated taking showers in that big open room in the winter and every time my bare feet would touch the floor, they’d ache.
My room was cozy tho – it had wall to wall carpet and was the size of a walk in closet (probably 5″ by 10″) so the vertical electric heater kept it toasty.

All of the floors in the house were black and white checkered – upstairs was actual linolieum tiles and downstairs was a painted, uneven, cement floor.

I’ve never taken pictures.

I took it for granted.

I lost it when I wouldn’t go to court with my dad to fight his girlfriend whose name the house was in and who just wanted him to pay the monthly mortgage until it was paid off and then he could have it after she left him for some other man with a house in New Hampshire after 11 years of common law marriage. She won the house because my dad refused to become a part of the society that deals with taxes, W4s, bank loans and other government inspired shackles. She sold it to the neighbors who started using it as a garage.

The last time I was there, I couldn’t even get berth enough to take pics of the fire place cuz there was so much crap in the living room.

My dad doesn’t talk to me anymore – partly because of my reticence towards going to court, partly because he’s a bit insane and paranoid and partly because he doesn’t agree with advancing as a human, and I do, and I won’t let him get away with that when we do talk.

I hear he’s building a ferrous cement catamaran houseboat on a river in southern Oregon. If you look at this map and notice the tressle on the east side. Under that is where this boat is being born. It’s 40’x60′ with ferrous cement pontoons filled with styrofoam with a house on top.

I hope to get to see it, and take photos of it, sometime soon.

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