It seemed simple enough to tell the tale of returning to a place once called home. Go tromping into that snowed in Vermont dreamscape forthright, carrying your camcorder about like Ken Burns. What a fool. There is no such thing as mere document in those treacherous countries. Time forsakes its clocklike boredom and walks through walls. Ghosts play the pianos. It's like a meeting on the operating table of a sewing machine and an umbrella. So watch where you step children. The Lost Year may record my brain's maneuvers, but the timeline has gone haywire. I just can't quantify it. It's overrun with ghosts and I have let them have their way. They have written my whole story for me, and it certainly is an odd one. The rooms are full of birds, those augurs of the sky, while the landscapes are populated by cemeteries. Did you actually believe that when you place stones on the dead it keeps track of them? Ha! You might as well search for your own lost soul. Look at me. I returned to all the stomping grounds seeking grand old stories, but I can't even play the piano in them anymore. I called in a poet to prop it up, give it structure, make it glorious!, but it's no use. The roofs caved, the summer beach froze over, and the man who loved the girl I was back in Vermont are both vanished. Even the ground is rotten. So much for happy fortune. What did I expect anyway?