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I Like To Be Here When I Can

Realistically, short of a zombie apocalypse these settings will never be home for me. I see that, but still, whenever my ears hear mention of someone’s special place, or dream home or abandoned gas station of solitude or wherever, I always imagine very particular places for myself. It’s little more than collected passing thoughts accumulated by years of standing in this or that line in diverse cities, mind designed for wandering, but after a fashion I suppose they are indicative of the world of my preference, what I strive for.

I want to find a lighthouse for my own. Not a facsimile of recent decades, and not one relegated to museum or cheesy roadside attraction status, but a working lighthouse, in operation for a century or more. I have always had a thing for them, and used to collect photo calendars and especially small porcelain figurines representing actual lighthouses across the globe. So I honestly have more than a passing knowledge of the real lighthouses, their histories and how they are maintained. Most often they are only four stories tall, with a small attached cottage. Contrary to the movies, they tend to be many miles away from nearby villages or townships. Often, at least in Europe and Asia, families will run them, living on site and extending responsibilities for maintenance and operations from one generation to the next. On this side of the pond, between the few primarily maritime lighthouses along North America and older church-constructed sites in South America, groundskeeping generally remains faithful to the stereotype of a cantankerous old drunk, widower or not but always decidedly alone. Because of their remoteness, the most modern lighthouses free of radar or digital components are worked with generators and water wells for utilities, clothes lines for drying linen. I would imagine solar panels and wind turbines would be more than feasible. There’s far less than a few dozen locations that would suit my list of demands here, but in the ever-elusive someday.

A part of me would like to take control of an aircraft carrier, as my private city on the sea. An aesthetic suggestion of Captain Harlock‘s unannounced grandfather, and only under these express conditions would I ever in my life wear a cape. Understandably.

The more realistic fantasy would be a cabin in the woods, like a studio efficiency in the middle of nowhere, made of wood and stone. A small place so removed that neither neighbors or neighboring structures could ever be seen or heard at any point of the year. I’d build it myself, while its surroundings would be keen for hiking, tree-climbing and camping, and while spelunking would be awesome that’s not a deal-breaker. My acreage would be acknowledged with a low, dry-stone wall, which I would also eagerly lay myself. I would maintain a veggie garden and compost heap, and perhaps a berry patch and flower garden. I’d build a cistern for collecting rain water, and I think I’d prefer a wood-burning stove and candles to any electricity, even solar panels for internet which I would heartily sacrifice for all of this. The cabin would have a massive hearth of a fireplace, while nearby outside would be a burn pit for cookouts or campfires, maybe the odd bonfire. Privacy and security. Peace and quiet. No alarms and no surprises, other than lots of dogs, lots of cats. No public grid, no city power, no water mainlines. In their place plenty of homegrown marijuana, stilled moonshine and growing DMT crystals to share. It says too much about me that my ideal housing would incorporate an outdoor privy, although in fairness once you’ve known buckets of creek water warmed by fire-heated stones then any alternative is pointless fiction.

Trespassers, as ever, will be violated.