I walk into the library, where the contest is being held. People sitting at long tables, rendering their pencil-copied illustrations from books. I check it out, unsure if I want to participate, but mostly apprehensive because I doubt my own skill. I find a how-to handbook, which makes the process even easier, so I begin to search for an image I'd like to copy.
The upstairs of Dan Paul's granny's house is brightly lit with an entire wall of sunny windows and clean, reflective wooden floors. The room is large and rectangular and open, bare of furniture. We sift through rolling racks of clothes now that Brett has graced us with his absence. The racks multiply, full of granny's old dresses, vintage mens' shirts, coats, and miscellaneous costumery. I ask Dan if he wants to keep them all, hoping that he will so we could make the upstairs into a costume closet of sorts. He agrees.
A few people stand on the balcony right outside the large bank of windows. They seem to be involved in their own business, so I don't mind them.
The kitchen connected to the large, open room is also spacious and sunny. An old red stove occupies the grand spot in the kitchen, facing the entrance and made of old black iron. It is stuffed with cast-iron skillets, pans, fryers and other pots, and there are even more stacked into the open cupboards and shelves. The walls are neatly stacked to the ceiling with old pots and pans. Some people show up to the space, and they're just hanging out but not necessarily engaging us. Facing the windows, a smaller area slopes upward toward the ceiling, covered in kitchen carpet. Four red spindly wooden rods stand out from the carpet hill, pointing toward the ceiling. A curious installation, whimsical but mysterious. Later, Dan Paul finds a miniature piano, and mounts it on top of the four wooden rods. They were legs to a tiny piano! We all stand around as Dan twists the legs into their grooves and gives us a performance. Pure Magic.