By | 1 May 2020
Little to remember now but more stone floors. Another cot. The cold. The window looked onto the backs of older buildings, ochre mostly, faded, or fallen off. Inside all a chipped, thinning white. Tattered rolling blinds and a small corner table, covered with an oilcloth. A language as of yet unlearned. Rent, in cash, to be left in a bible. You were alone. Supposedly there was a daughter or distant cousin too, though you never heard or saw her. The building faced a bus terminus and busy intersection, cut, in one direction, by the tramline, in the other, a long row of simple ex-votos, cut by simple hands.

Most of the time you were in the kitchen. It was narrow, and looked onto a couple of trees, a few pre-fab high-rises tinged in blue. Bluish evenings. Haunt, hope, hue. Still the light was warm despite winter’s grey monotony: ice-rain, snow, frostblooms before your morning mouth, all the way up through May. The range was to the left, a corner bench tucked in on the right. On the table two empty teacups, half bottle, ashtray. Was there a plant? She had a cat. The radio was almost always on, tuned to a local station. You remained a guest.

This is the room you always come back to. Twin bed, shuttered window, tiny desk. The walls have stayed a pale pink, you think, the crown molding white, and the toilet’s behind a cheap accordion door, next to a handheld showerhead and drain. Across the street, palms and giddy cries from a parochial courtyard. The sky is soft October blue, and, from here, the main train station is just a few blocks away, like being young. It hasn’t been renovated yet, and the seer whose book you have with you isn’t dead. The seer you’re looking for, twenty years (but the distance between you and you now is longer). At first, of course, the city was a stranger. Soon after, the center. This is the room you always come back to. Here it is always warm, and everything’s just at the edge of beginning.

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