|Photo Olivier Zahm|
Or you did. I went along with it, because what other choice did I have?
We sold the house, we sold everything, and found ourselves in a shabby studio apartment. We had no privacy, no room to move, no space to write. Nothing but an old double bed and a sink at the foot of it and a cramped and dirty bathroom.
I knew--or at least I hoped--that we'd eventually be able to find and afford something bigger, but for now we were stuck. Still, I missed our home in Chicago. Every day I wondered why you'd wanted to do this, and why I agreed to it.
Of course, M_____ lived in our apartment building, too, and she was just as mean-spirited and dramatic as ever. One afternoon she invited me over, and because I had no job and nothing to do and nowhere else to go, I reluctantly agreed.
Her apartment was enormous, with high ceilings and the kind of ornate woodwork you just don't see any more. It was so much larger than ours it was difficult to believe they could exist together in the same building.
M_____ was nice at first. She always is. But soon enough her claws and fangs came out. She made snide comments and belittled me, you, us, laughing as she did.
She'd planned an afternoon out, a trip to a casino outside the city that turned out to be a rough truck-stop type of place where I didn't feel safe.
M_____ disappeared. I wandered around, trying to find my way out of there and finally did, stepping into a cloudy day. I didn't know how I was going to get back to the city, and the closest thing I had to a home.
But at least I was in the country, for now. At least I had some space and time to myself, and I decided to stay there for a while.