Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost a submission for a friend:

Wrote this a while ago. It looks like a middle.

I have a small apartment on the sixteenth floor of that brown building. It used to be a tenement building. Immigrant containment. Once my shower leaked and it splashed the wall, and the wall got soft and moldy and fell away after a while. Behind there you could see the brick, and all the brick was black and burnt. Still. Still black and burnt after all these years. It went down beneath the floor, and if that got moldy and wet and fell away, you could see to the basement and that's probably all old scorches and scars that came up from the basement where it started. That's a long way. Sixteen floors. My landlord said it was water damage, stuff I had to pay to fix. I told him to go to hell.

I'm the only one up here anyway. Everybody has been moving out. They say it's going to be condemned. There's still a lock on the front door. I figure that's good. The elevator creaks. There's a sign inside above the buttons from the landlord that says "I know it's loud. It's fine." It works. It's loud. It screeches, like it's scraping against the sides. I told him to grease it, grease the sides, grease something, you can hear that thing screaming all night. People need to get upstairs. Lots of people here work late. But you wish they'd take the stairs after ten. And now that I saw those scorches. I can't ask him to grease it no more. What if it caught fire. What if that metal scraping caught the grease. Pilar of fire running up the side of the building all over again.

The windows still open. The wind whips. It makes this place feel bigger. It's one room. Everything in one place. I can almost touch either end of it. I told my doctor that's why I got so fat. I got noplace to walk. I can reach the fridge from the chair. The tv from the chair. But the wind whips. Pigeons come by. Ms. Renata is convinced they come by because it looks like a nest. Brown and messy. The walls match the carpet match the tv match the chair. Newspapers get down when they get down. She brought over a painting she did. It's good. She takes a class. Does fruit bowls. Apples all over.

Pigeons come when they come. I moved the chair nearer to the sil so when they leave I can watch them spiral down to the street. There's a food cart guy they bother.

You're allowed to beg. That's something you're allowed to do. Might as well.

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