Saturday, May 8, 2010

where we live

We live in a second-floor apartment.

It was built in the 1940’s.

It is full of asbestos.

It feels like a bomb shelter.

It has cement walls covered by plaster and paint.

Our bathroom sink has two faucets. Our toilet doesn’t have a tank.

The heat comes through radiators and the air through window units.

The windows tilt open. They don’t all have screens.

The blinds are made of metal.

There are not enough electrical outlets.

We live on the south side of town.

We park in a parking lot. It doesn’t always get plowed in the winter.

There is an outdoor basketball court adjacent to the parking lot.

Guys shoot hoops there nearly every night, weather permitting. Black guys or white guys. Sometimes both.

There is a Vietnam vet who lives in a house nearby. He claims ‘they’re coming’ and sits up in his attic, listening to radio frequencies.

There is a coffee shop a block away. Guys who wear skinny jeans work there. The types with bangs in their eyes.

There is a church across the street with an empty bell tower.

If you spend enough time in the apartment during the day, you will hear a car accident on the street below. Then, you can run to the window to see if you need to call 9-1-1.

You’ll also hear sirens every few hours.

And people yelling.

And sometimes domestic disputes at 3 in the morning.

And really loud Mexican music at 2 in the morning. (But this will go away as soon as the traffic light turns green).

Generally the hours between 4 and 6 are docile. But then morning traffic starts again.

And the street below is busy busy busy.

If you keep the blinds open at night, the street lamps will keep you up.

If you leave them closed, it’s pitch black.

We dream of packing up and moving to some suburban two-story. With a yard and a fence and a cul-de-sac. It could be on a lake. Or framed by mountains. It could come complete with a pond. Or the American Dream.

It's inevitable, almost. That transition to permanency.

But I can't help but feel that once we're there I'll be bored out of my mind.


  1. excellent! this felt likes Shel Silverstein Poem!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  2. We have a house next door that's small and you'll hear a train from time to time.

    Love the bit though!

  3. this dream picture you paint sounds awfully close to "country living" for you ... there could be wide open spaces

  4. I did not know you had a crazy war vet neighbor... I know a nice little town just a few minutes away with two story houses and white picket fences...

  5. I've just ordered you a subscription to "Country Living" magazine. Expect your first issue to arrive next week. You'll be receiving a copy every 2 weeks. Enjoy!!!

    ~Jill (from Peoria--the place you used to live)