When I was five or six, Lake Bonaparte was just about exactly at the center of the whole round world.
From the roof of our boathouse, you could clearly see that the world was flat on top, with a plastic dome that came down to the horizon all around to keep you from falling off the edge … if you ever went that far.
But if you lived near the middle of the world, why would you ever go away?
Then one day, my mother told me we were going to move.
My Great Grandfather Dr. Drury had our house built when he came to practice medicine in Natural Bridge, and both my mother and my grandmother were born at home there, but for all I knew about such things, the house had simply grown in this place and had itself given birth to us all.
The house is a fairly simple post-Victorian with the notable embellishment being the brass statuette of what I have been told is the muse of poetry. Sixteen or eighteen inches high, on the newel post at the bottom of the stairs … so when you slid down the bannister you had to jump off quickly toward the bottom, or come to a tragic end.
When my mother announced that we were going to move from Natural Bridge , I was dumbfounded, bewildered, and flabbergasted. I asked her just how we were going to move our HOUSE.
I understood her to say then that a big truck would come along with a WIND MACHINE. And the WIND MACHINE would BLOW the house up onto the truck.
When my mom was in her nineties , I finally brought up the subject of our move. Mom denied that she ever said that stuff about a WIND MACHINE blowing our house up onto a truck; and I am sure she didn’t. It would have been totally out of character for her.
The disappointing actual move was the end of my natural-house theory, and shook my conviction that Lake Bonaparte was the center of a world that is round underneath and flat on top, with a plastic dome that keeps us from going over the edge. I have gone over the edge more than once .