Lincoln started it , started me thinking , staring at me in his white stony presence , sitting among the perfumes on the dresser . Oh , Abraham ! Your magnificent head made now to sit on a bottle of after shave ! Another Lincoln hides among the books on the shelf , deeply embarrassed at what has become of the image of The Great Emancipator .
The Jesus hanging from the rope in the bathroom is no better off , obviously .
There was a Winston Churchill in the tv room . Maybe he’s now in the garage . Maybe he somehow found a way to escape altogether , tired of his little mug handle and his eternally unlit cigar ,and of enduring modern America’s uninspiring television offerings .
And , everyone else smiles , stands , leans into their own inimitable existences , apparently not much concerned with the others , not bothered by any passing chaos , dustings , cat passings , breezes . There are the strutting Germans and the soused Irish bottle stoppers , the milk maids and the monks, the children and the angels , the harlequins and the rest .
I was looking over all the inhabitants in the house , wondering : Aren’t they sneaking in their friends , filling the place with those enigmatic expressions , silently laughing , some sporting those solid stares , without previous approval ? There are suddenly so many of them ! Where did they all come from ?
There are saints and the sinners here , sharing the same small house , effortlessly , easily , peacefully . There are those armed and unarmed , solemn and happy , bizarre and plain , made of wood or ceramic , of paper or cloth . There is even one made of strangely translucent soap .
I may find myself too , one of these days , up on the wall or hiding in a small cubbyhole of the old printer’s drawer , or standing on top of the lawyer’s bookcase . Or , perhaps , I might be hiding among the hardback books, trying to avoid Abraham’s unwavering and unnerving gaze .