I’m sitting on the floor, in the middle of MY room.
The dim diffuse glow reflected off an adjacent building, struggles to define MY four walls. High up one of these walls… the only window from which natural light can enter, is open. Random street sounds from the road beyond MY alley… an unidentifiable thump, a distant siren, even more distant laughing of children.
The sudden addition of a loud and unmistakable rumbling and rattling… MY neighbor’s old Ford flatbed trucks exhaust fumes mingle with the soft light. Boot-clad footsteps clump, clump, clump. A door slams!
An odd silence.
MY suitcase lies nearby, half-full of clothes. I’m wearing the rest. I have yet to get anything for MY new apartment. It was quite difficult to convince Maria to please not fill the place with stuff of her choosing. I know she meant well. She’s so nice and I miss her already but this is truly…
MY FIRST APARTMENT!
The cool party pad with my old school buddies on East Center Street a million miles away in Rochester, Minnesota was the first time I’d lived away from my parents. THIS is the first time I have a place that is truly MINE! This is the first time I can know that I am the ONLY one who lives here.
I am the ONLY one, who has a key to the ONLY door, to the ONLY room.
Well… I’m pretty sure that MY landlord has a key, but you know what I’m getting at. This is the first of what will be a kind of ritual for me. Sitting in the middle of my new, completely empty apartment. I extend my senses to the walls that “contain” me, and imagine. It’s like meditation, although I don’t even know what that is at this point in my nineteen-year-old life.
I imagine what is to be. What may happen here, what I expect to cook on that stove, what I hope to see over in that corner, what I dream to see coming through that door…
It’s a low, heavy natural-wood-grained door. With a curved top and large dummy hinge straps. The hinge straps have a fake, rough-forged look and spade-shaped ends. Like someone thought they were being cleaver. Like they were trying to make the room occupant feel like I’m in an old medieval dungeon or something.
Heh… yea it’s a dungeon all right. MY shitty basement room in this dingy old apartment building in midtown Omaha. It does have a kind of dark and tortuous feel to it. It’s the only room down here though and I like that. It’s the only room in this part of the building anyway. My only true neighbor (with the flatbed) lives in a one-bedroom apartment on the other end, with the boiler room and a large storage area between us. I’ve never seen him.
I’m thinking kinda creepy may just be what works best in this neighborhood though. There are a lot of street punks hanging about and I don’t need any of them thinking they might want to try and break in. Not like I have anything to steal. I have literally NOTHING in here.
I won’t be buying much either with the forty bucks I have left of the two hundred Fred “gave” me. “Loaned” to me. Stole from me (but of course I don’t know that… yet)
Eighty bucks rent and another eighty for deposit. That leaves forty. Fine. I can eat on that till I get a job and get paid. I know I can.