no flowers in the attic

There's something about children and attics. For kids, attics are unknown frontiers - danger and adventure waits in every dark corner and a box of old clothes may be hitherto undiscovered treasure. Omnipresent dust conveys atmosphere and there may well be a treasure map jammed between the rafters. It gives you an excuse to play with flashlights. The prying eyes of adults are easily avoided in attics, making them both mysterious and a refuge from the rest of the world. They ignite imagination. Some of the greatest children's adventures in fiction kick off in attics: The Famous Five, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Magician's Nephew - attics abound and play an integral part in everything from solving crimes to discovering new worlds. The Goonies kicks off in an attic. As a petulant youth I felt our lack of attic (condos are not attic friendly) a sign of terrible deprivation and as such any friend with space between the ceiling and the roof was a friend indeed.

I keep in close contact with my inner child. I still watch cartoons (good ones - Pixar and the like), I love the snow and sometimes I just need to be silly. I wish they built playgrounds for grown-ups. Pirates are still cool and part of me still thinks it's not too late to be Indiana Jones. I still love Star Wars - the originals, of course.

This weekend we cleared out our attic and part of my inner child died. Or was in a very deep sleep. I'm hoping for the latter. An attic for an adult is a place to throw shit you hope never to have to move again, which then attracts dust like Charlie Sheen attracts hookers. In the summer, which it is at the moment, it's hot enough to roast chicken in and that, combined with the disturbed dust (which as a child was atmospheric) chokes you rotten while you're hunched over trying not to smack your head against one of the beams, chucking stuff down the ladder as fast as possible so that you can get the hell out of there and breathe again.

So what was up there? Well, lots of clothes, boxes full of copies of my dad's book, boxes full of some strange business literature no one will ever need, more clothes and enough luggage for the wives of the England football squad (though not quite up to their strict fashion standards).

No treasure map
No treasure
No clue to a crime
No doorway to another world
No fun

That's more dusty luggage than anyone will ever need, ever.