We did the dishes rarely—once or twice a week. Mostly they were red tinged wineglasses or heavy blue glasses with crusty milk rims piled up easily and out of sight in the deep soapstone sink. I would lift them one by one and place them on the wooden countertop. Sometimes there would be mold and sometimes not. It depended on how long they’d been there, how hot it was outside. It depended on the closeness and direction of the sun. It was cosmic.
The apartment was the middle floor of a Victorian. Ours had been partly the original maid’s quarters. Our kitchen was a sink and a pantry.
Our bathroom had small blue tiles on the floor. Once a dead mouse rotted underneath the claw foot tub.
The moldings, the built-ins, the place had it all. It even had two bedrooms but we used the second one as a den. Until he moved out and then it became my bedroom and the one we had shared became the bedroom of someone else. An other’s room.
We could fit two low chairs and a small hibachi on the deck. To call it a deck is a stretch. It was more like a precarious overhang with railings.
I would sit out there and smoke, using the hibachi as an ashtray. The couple next door waved to me once. Pleased and envisioning my entrée into their clever, perfectly ordered lives, I smiled, waved. “Hey,” he said, “Hey, so do you mind taking in that blanket you have hanging there? It’s an eyesore.”
Eyesore this, motherfucker.