The house of my childhood had grown an extra room, jutting through the roof like a mushroom cloud. It had a circular, cloudy-paned window, which emitted flickering golden light. The evening was dusky blue and unseen dogs moaned for the moon.
I walked into the house, drunk on the expectation of a profligate's homecoming; but that was chased by melancholy. The familiar rooms were empty, occupied by fields of sombre colour that might have solidified into memory had I lingered. I was looking for my father, but found only a tight spiral staircase without a railing, leading toward that secret room.
Years passed on that staircase. When I looked down into the darkening empty center, I remembered the vertiginous, heart-stopping stairwells of Gaudi's incomplete cathedral in Barcelona.
At last I reached the top of the staircase, the secret room. It was long and narrow, divided by thin paper screens behind which shadows flickered and giggled. There was a drawn bath surrounded by lit candles, piles of books everywhere, and the most perfect desk in the world, with a wide expansive surface and cubbyholes for envelopes and files and a long gutter for pens and markers.
Then I woke, followed by a slow, lazy realisation that the room had been my writing room, and that it been in that house all along, waiting for me to find it.