Living in the Ben Franklin Block

“Living in the Ben Franklin Block” appeared in Serving House Journal, Issue 3, Spring 2011.


I used to fall asleep to the sound of my father’s typewriter, for as long as I can remember. As he typed, he would mumble commentary—his office was across the hall from my bedroom—and if he particularly liked what he was writing, he would chuckle or shout. The phone was always ringing at my parents’ house, and my brother’s saxophone wailing, and the dog howling, and usually one or two radios going, too. But the place never really seemed noisy, not enough to get on your nerves. Here it is so quiet I read most of the time. Then after awhile I’ll want to get up and do something, but I feel so tired and heavy I can’t. So I’ll put together a jigsaw puzzle and wonder when it’s all going to end.


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