I love the little house in the wilderness, the one tiny house which has withstood all efforts of the Big Insurance Company to buy it. The B.I.C. owns everything else on that block, with the hopes of someday building another tower or a parking lot there...but that plucky little house has stood its ground and -- if Ian has anything to do with it -- it will be there for a long time.
Ian owns the house. Today he caught me snooping around and we started talking. I'd assumed that the house was deserted -- most of its windows are painted over and its wall of two-storey bushes form an impenetrable shell around it -- but no, Ian still lives there. He's an imposing middle-aged guy in green mechanic's coveralls, his face is huge, he is enthusiastically anti-establishment. I found him yanking out the four-foot high thistles, part of the foliage that he correctly calls his "naturalization." It would seem, however, that the B.I.C. doesn't like those thistles.
The 1861 farmhouse has been in Ian's family for a long time, and he says that if anything happens to him it will be inherited by his equally imposing cousin. Ian is friendly and gregarious, a brilliant talker. He calls the B.I.C. tower "Big Brother" and the rising loft tower on the other side is "Big Sister." He shares my amusement that a newly-constructed apartment complex can be called a "loft." As a child in that house he remembers seeing the factory which used to be there belch huge clots of fabric out of its smokestacks.
Ian says, referring to the B.I.C., "They hate my entire G.I. tract."
We talked until the big storm came down and hammered us, when Ian gathered up his electric clippers and disappeared back into his tiny patch of wilderness. It thrills me that he lives in there, happily isolated, a pain in the ass.