There is a window at my writing desk which looks out on the three bridges connecting Fonda to the mainland, all three of unassuming grace and grandeur. I let the door swing open on the other side of the cottage, so that I can break now and then to look down the mouth of the river, which widens at this point, before bursting into muddy tributaries and breaking into the sea.
Some days, I imagine Fonda to be the seat of a sprawling, now vanished empire. I indulge in ambling to the outskirts of town and have made etchings of odd-shaped boulders that resemble the fragments of an aqueduct or outer wall. I have discovered the marble bases of caryatid porches and the ruins of an ancient spa a few miles distant. A map of secret colonies hangs on my wall, fraying at the edges from the fresh ink of planted towns.
Fonda is the seat of my silent empire, ever growing on the cusp of new conquests. But it is too rotten at the core to keep growing unabated. Its burgeoning domain has left the center hollow, save for this one cottage, where some solitary scribe writes the history of his dying empire.