A flashback from my time in Connecticut.
“The summer was fashionably New England. I think about it, the way things differ in the summer verse the winter. Not much changes when you dig a little deeper. The seasons have an affect of course but by in large individuals, no matter how sophisticated, stay the same. The lilac can only do so much for a persons character. I think the rest is up to them.
There is quite a lot to see and quite a lot to wonder about in my neighborhood’s past. Each house has a different design. Some are more reminiscent of the French Tudor style, some are Victorian with Greco-Roman style columns. Some have vines growing on the side of their chimneys. Some have earthy tones that I could stare at for hours. Some have been painted over with modern colors that look kind of tacky, and I envision the kind of people that live there now. What are they like? What do they eat at night? Are they happy?
My apartment is of the old Tudor style. It’s closest to Farmington Avenue, split between Elizabeth Park, the city line and West Hartford. I usually just tell people I live in West Hartford. It’s easier that way. It’s really not the case though and if you want you can pull out a map or a phone or see for yourself, you can. But that doesn’t matter too much. From a distance, the house looks tall. And as you get closer, the clay becomes more real, the small features come to life. The side doors, the prism window you cannot see through, and the small hatchway suggests some serious craftsmanship. It must have been built for someone important, someone noble, but I cant’ be too sure and the fact that it keeps me guessing from time to time adds another mysterious element to my already mysterious life.
As you pull into the parking lot the house stretches further back, and you realize there is an entire backside hidden from the road, obscured by maple trees. My apartment unit is in the back. I have a patio and entrance way directly leading to my bedroom. I utilize this door almost always. I come in quickly. I leave quickly. I don’t make a lot of noise and I keep to myself mostly. My apartment is spacious and the woodworking is nice. I have a barrage of books, and I’ve read all of them. There is some decorative china on the sill of my kitchen, which collects dust that I tell myself I will eventually get to, but seldom do if ever. In the living room I have a solid black leather sofa and a small white kitchen table which provides some nice contrast. There are a few coasters set about my kitchen table. I always use them and consider their functionality extremely important, especially in the mornings.
I have space in my apartment, and I don’t just mean square footage. And while it has been nice to live here for the past 9 months, the emptiness is starting to catch up with me. I wish I had someone to share the space with. Someone to go on a walk with. If you walk from my apartment down to Elizabeth park, you pass all of the nice Victorians, each with their own story. I have made up several in my time alone. I think about their differences, their uniqueness, their quality.
The beauty and the money of the world encapsulate this neighborhood. Rich men used to dock their boats on the Connecticut shoreline and then get them insured in Hartford. That is how it came to be the insurance capitol. I believe that life was different back then, though. I’m sure the influx of technology has changed things. Now we are simply trying to preserve the beauty of these places without really understanding that beauty comes from personality, and although the personality of the great Victorians will never die, those that once lived here have perished; disintegrated. “