I knew that the old house understood what I said.
When I was very small, I used to rest my head against the walls and try to hear what it had to say.
I was sad when we moved and sadder still when the house was changed beyond my knowing.
This may have slept inside my head, long past the time when I thought that the creak of the floorboards was an ongoing conversation.
There is something about a house that has lived.
It carries memories that nothing flesh could bear.
It keeps that knowledge deep within its inner beams, dispersed in the shifting of foundations and the groan of warping wood.
There is also a moment when life passes from a house.
Even if it is still occupied, still being used, some vital force disappears, leaving only the barest of shelters.
I have been asked where the Virtue Inn formed within my head and it is a struggle to explain.
I have known so many houses that have a story, lurking under fading wallpaper and unreplaced asbestos.
Their voices are quiet but insistent.
What if we shaped you as you shape us?
I answered their question.