An intentional contrast to the bright modern décor of the rest of the house, an iron caged Edison light casts an amber hue on the dark navy walls but provides very little guidance as you step down through the doorway and begin your descent. You walk carefully, the steps are old and uneven. Framed photographs of Lower East Side graffiti follow along side you; the raw colorful energy sets off sparks in your mind as your bare feet land on the black tongue-shaped fur slab waiting in welcome at the bottom of the stairs. Your toes wiggle and grab onto the deep fur as your eyes adjust and you take a deep inhale.
On each side of the refurbished wood barn doors that face you, flames flicker in the antique mirrored iron holders giving the room a cavernous, ancient glow. A spicy light incense wafts through the air, the tea light inside the burner casts starry light onto the low ceiling as it glows through the ceramic owl’s carved out feathers. The ceramic dish on top of the owl’s head holds the smoldering oil and herbs. The second harvest is coming; it smells like crackling leaves and dirt.
Turn to the right. It is here you will rest – a massive sectional forms a huge king-sized square. Art is scattered on the wall above it – each piece holds meaning, the collection culled with only your taste in mind and it is eclectic and makes you smile. Your feet sink into yet another deep fur rug, this of a soft gray, as you dive into the luxury that awaits. The sofa is draped in blue velvet and a dozen plush pillows in various shapes and sizes are scattered all over, rich in the signature deep jewel tones you covet. Several cashmere blankets and fur throws are draped one on top of the other waiting to be mindlessly grabbed from any spot and pulled over for warmth. A jumbo yet perfectly sized distressed metal tray sits on the couch waiting for your arrival; it holds a glass of wine in a vintage amber goblet, a pair of reading glasses, phone, all the remotes and most importantly, your fully charged laptop.
The dog, like Artemis’ loyal hound, is beside you burrowed into a nest of pillows. You can barely see her except for the points of her ears which prick up, ever vigilant to the outside noises of the cicadas, the soft breeze and the disturbingly shrill geriatric meow of Bohdi who peers desperately in at you from outside the tiny open window leading to the ground outside. He’s hopeful that you’ll crawl onto the shelf and let him in if he continues. You do climb up there eventually, but it’s only to shut the window.
You’re not the caretaker anymore today.
It’s your time. You’re in your space.