Jerry's Cabin


Excerpt from "All That Lingers" by Justin Murphy

Jerry has been in Chesaw for 30 years. The commune that originally attracted him to the land dissolved amid personality conflicts and atrophy. The spring ran dry at his first cabin, so he built another one. He’s lived with two women and raised two sons.

His cabin has grown from a one-room bunker to a tight five-room complex that’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. He remembers the stories of the individual logs in the walls and the time he spent putting them together. His water is diverted from a nearby spring and runs continuously in his kitchen. He counts the sound of it as a blessing.

Outside, he built a sauna with an upside-down satellite dish for a roof. The small crooked door leads over a slippery plank bridge and into a small pool of water. Out of the sauna and splash, into the pond — this is how Jerry bathes, in sunshine, rain, sleet and snow.