Regular Memory

The Dogs Basement

People have this lower level in their homes. There old furniture down there. A couch with one side scratched out by an old pet. The carpet has a mushy spot in the corner where the floor boards are loose, and rough spots where drinks or food were spilled. There’s a box of christmas decorations and pieces of an old artificial xmas tree. It’s colder down there than the rest of the house. There’s a blanket that the dog has claimed. There’s a whole part of the basement that’s always in shadow where no one ever goes or thinks about. You have no memory about what was in that place. When you could down the stairs, the whole room echos announcing your entrance into the space. But your first step onto the cold bare floor before the carpet starts is a solid thud because there’s nothing lower; nothing lower than that floor. There’s a delay when you flip the light switch. Some lights come on before others, and they all flicked once before reaching their full brightness. You held christmas down here once. It worked, but you didn’t do it again. One wall is covered in thin artifical wood. You know it’s hollow back there, but you’ve never thought about what’s back there. Animals hide down here when it’s dark. It’s like a forest to them. Changing so slowly it might not be changing at all. A real American basement. Unique, yet completely indistinguishable by anyone other than the experts who observe them.