“Now the dust was evenly mixed with the air, an emulsion of dust and air. Houses were shut tight, and cloth wedged around doors and windows, but the dust came in so thinly that it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes. The people brushed it from their shoulders. Little lines of dust lay at the door sills.”
from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Our house is imbued with dust, more than would be considered a normal amount. This is not the dust of sloughed skin cells and human detritus. No, this dust is something greater, something unholy.
At first it percolated down from the attic, thick and heavy, from a time when coal was burned in the fireplaces for heat. This black dust lurks in the corners and crevices in our home, waiting to darken anything it touches.
Now we have additional dust, a product of our own efforts. Plaster dust and, more recently, concrete dust, floating in the air up the stairwell and seeping through cracks in our floorboards into our living area. The dust is pervasive, inescapable. It coats every surface, and when sun shines through the living room windows, the floating dust is illuminated in the rays.