It’s 6:10 AM Monday morning. I’m in the attic office at the Hemingway Birthplace home, my new writing space since being named the Writer-in-Residence here. I have a cup of French roast. One light shines in the room, just enough to illuminate the corner of the space. Miles Davis’ So What plays softly out of my laptop’s speaker. I write.
And I wait.
I’ve been in the house alone many times now. Early mornings are best. It’s a cool, quiet, and a unique place to be and work. But I can’t help wondering about the ghosts.
No one has said anything about any spirits, evidence of any Hemingway apparitions. But I wonder.
I write some more. It’s going well. The story takes me places I wasn’t sure I would go. I am being pulled along by something uncertain.
I sip coffee. I lower the volume on Miles Davis. I listen to the sound of my fingers tapping letters on the keyboard.
A few years ago, I was the Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando. It was the home where he had lived with his mother and where he wrote The Dharma Bums. A poet who had been a previous resident once wrote of the scratching sounds she would sometimes hear in the home, the branches of the massive old oak tree just outside the front door moving in the wind and scraping along the home’s tin roof. The sounds of Jack’s pencil writing words from heaven.
There is no tin roof here at the Hemingway home. No big old oak touching the roof. But there is something in this space, something I can’t put my finger on just yet. A force, a simple presence. A ghost? Not sure about that. It seems silly to consider. But, well, maybe.
I take another sip of French roast. I write some more. Davis has now shifted to Coltrane on my Spotify playlist.
I do not feel alone.
I write some more. And I will write again.