[Author’s Note: Originally written March 2014]
Thin burgundy planks hang rigid suspended in the air, clutching to the side of the building with its bricks that could be best described as a shade of faded orange. The planks, worn by the everyday use of both the weather and the family that occupied the faded orange brick house, exposed shades of grey and mouldy green.
The paint appeared to be rubbed off, as opposed to peeling, suggesting the damage was not done maliciously but as an afterthought. The porch that contained the planks was covered by spatters of white and brown bird shit, despite the absence of any actual birds anywhere near the structure. The porch was an amalgamation of anachronistic adages. From the barrier of faded white beams and as a small wall of glass that acts as deterrent to all those who thought that standing on the edge of a structure hanging in mid-air by some feat of engineering they barely understood was a good idea. Both a form of moss or possibly mould and the ever-present bird shit clung to the glass in the barrier. To the right of the porch, sitting there idly, was a rusted barbeque, covered in grease that had failed to be cleaned up. Spider webs clung to the lid of the neglected barbeque while next to it stood the gas canister, unaffected by the rust that had consumed its comrade. To the left a table that has the look of being designed for outdoor entertainment with its curved but strong legs, not used for many years, stands with the same signs of neglect as the rest of the porch, faded colours, spider webs, that ever-present, pervasive, bird shit, and a new symbol of disuse, dust. Surrounding the table are various pot plants browning at different rates of misuse, a roll of chicken wire sits against the brown planks that again act as a barrier to protect the young, and the stupid. Littered at the feet of these neglected pieces of outdoor living sit novelty metal animals, designed for holding plants if the hole in the top of their structure was any clue, they sat there in the shape of ants, and snails, not fulfilling the purpose they were designed for. Directing in the centre of the porch sits a small ship wheel, reminding one of the Golden Age of Piracy. It sits aloofly with no real purpose due to the un-boat like nature of the house. Installed by the previous owner, an aficionado of engineering and nautical apparel, perhaps as a clever thought as the un-seaworthy house overlooked the local bay. The wheels spoke were the colour of faded wood, no longer given the care the previous owner may have lavished over them. Nearby stands another nautical souvenir, with its signage: Engine Room Telegraph. A crank designed for communication between the engine room and the main deck of the ship. Old and out-of-place like the rest of the porch’s nautical features it made the most irritating ringing noise when pulled by curious cousins, or bored teenagers.