A small stove. No room for a table. The washing machine in the corner, emptying gray water by a tube into the sink. A window overlooked the parking lot. A store’s dumpster. Beyond that the street and more streets beyond that, leading through and up. Then rose a hill and the buildings on the hill glowed in the afternoon light. That glow, those windows, the red brick, all were possibility untapped. Fueled by bitterness, this was a cold, a hungry, life of the mind. It would be. Or it would be nothing at all, reduced to the empty smells of dying love.