His House — a study for Arenberg Forest

Green stripes on the lawn in the back.

Striped vanilla cookies inside. Right through the way from the clear glass chandelier.

Oddly not cold, but cooly comforting. Smooth, soothing, a perfect antidote to a rough-hewn day outside. As far from the clack-clack-clack of shoes on stone.

He had insisted that the main hallway have rough blue stone floors so that he wouldn’t hesitate to enter his own home in his work clothes. Able to go back in and up to his room if he forgot something, able to go to the kitchen or pantry for forgotten food or liquid. Only the smooth living room and dining room off limits to him for part of the day.

She’d never seen him in the house in his cycling shoes. Those seemed to be the last thing he put on even after the helmet and gloves, arm warmers and rain gear. The final commitment to the day.

She imagined the discussion with the house designer as he said no, no, no, to one beautiful but impractical proposal after another. Silk where the dog might want to lay, a stainless steel hood blocking the only window that gave him a view of the western horizon, the only way to gauge the weather of the upcoming day.

Designed for the handful of days he would actually be there, not the majority of days when his entire world was a suitcase full of performance fabric.