Jacob Lawrence, "The Life of Frederick Douglass No. 5" (1939)
Jacob Lawrence, The Life of Frederick Douglass No. 5. The master's quarters or "the great house" was filled with luxuries. It possessed the finest of foods from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. It contained fifteen servants. It was one of the finest mansions in the house. (1939)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

In the company apartment he read Shelby Foote. Later he learned that there was a Civil War era fort within walking distance.

Thunderstorms are his strongest memory.

A period of exploration. The new geography. The new role in life. Malls and bookstores and a subway system. Staff meetings and conferences and colleagues with children. The meaning of the fact that, far a way, a kind young woman still loved him, despite the continent between.

Your married colleagues keep the shared TV tuned to ESPN. They'd rather drive than walk. Their conversation is domestic: tuition for their daughters, the cost of dry cleaning. They're ok with Chinese food. But the oldest wants to go to "titty bars", and the discussion leaves you silently angry.

None of them read. You stay up later than they do, sometimes much later, feet up over the back of the couch, turning pages in fat volumes. The history of the Civil War. UNIX operating system internals. Database design. For weeks at a time these are your only hours alone. You fully appreciate just how sweet they are.

Living room with kitchenette. French doors to the balcony. Overhead ceiling lamp. Thin man, tall, sweatshirt and stocking-feet, reads at night with one eye on his book, the other on the lightning flashes dancing outside. The cap of a purple felt pen dangles from his lips where some people might keep a cigarette. It's too bad they want the balcony doors closed. The rain would smell fantastic.

He wrote to her every day. In hindsight he wishes he'd written more often.