You spend these quiet years unravelling. An ungroomed, unbrushed spectre, half-haunting half-lit hallways. Disuse spreading with every broken fixture, blocked chimney, rain-rotted plank. Year by year the liveable space closing in. You and the house shrinking down and stretching out. Spread thin in sync, a cluster of joints, a bundle of tissues animated in parts. A patchwork of discreet absences adding up to less than the expected sum. Your threadbare decline worn as warm as comfortable cardigans.

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