Oct 21, 2008

coffee stain = no longer my problem

Sometimes when I look across the street at my old apartment building I miss something.

I don't know what.

Certainly not the space. That apartment was small.

I don't miss the luxuries - there were no luxuries. Just a scrub brush and big cake of soap (for cleaning the floors, the dishes, me - everything), and a window.

That one window. What a window.

And there was a bathtub - that, when you put a plank of wood across it (which, believe me, was already chained to the tub anyway) doubled as a table - if not and a bed (guest bed).


I mean, no. It was not a great apartment. Not by any standard.

Though, as small as it was, it did have more closet space than I have here, currently, at my supposedly better, bigger apartment. But that's typical (nothing architecturally making any sense ever).

And I really don't miss the coffee stain (bad, grim, incredibly foretelling coffee stain) that - near the end of my experience at that worse, smaller apartment (across the street) - rolled down my east wall (my one east wall) and part of the ceiling, thereof.

That coffee stain (stain: millions of vertical lines saturating a ten by twelve foot wall) being the artwork of a one very special guest - was scrubbed off by me on a Sunday - only to return that very Monday (only slightly deterred).

There it was. The coffee stain - it was still there.

It turns out that, sometimes - paint has a memory.

Sometimes you can scrub and scrub - but a stain will keep coming back.

That, clearly, only paint would suffice - but at that point I didn't want to paint. Not anymore. Not there. Not at that apartment. Because I was moving.

So I washed it off. Or so I thought.

And it's funny because it was only one cup of coffee. If that. Probably not even that. I had been drinking from it (that particular cup of coffee) before my guest took it and, without any regard for anything - flung it (the cup with its hot contents) across the room (at my computer for some reason) and created the coffee stain (that I dealt with and lived with - for seven months) that is probably there still, to this very day.

It was a mess.

A real mess. A mess that reminded me - not daily (I didn't worry about it every day), but at least every few days - that some people may at any point fling anything across the room - at any time.

No, I don't miss the coffee stains streaking down my east wall - like so many candle wax (or is it blood) dripping type Halloween fonts (you know the ones) - employed by the covers of so many horror/monster magazines. A font that I always loved.

Just not as a stain. In my house.

Victoria works and occasionally blogs in Chicago..

Oct 8, 2008


Tell me this isn't scary.
It reminds me of the last time I went camping.

It was years ago. In the middle of October.

We had been hiking for hours.

This was a huge national park. The goal was to relax. To overwrite stress.

No billboards. No signage. Just the sound of birds and the wind through the trees.

A time when spiders were "ok"; dirt welcome.

And there weren't any other humans beings anywhere. It was off season.

But suddenly it became unseasonably cold. We knew the temperature would drop - but this wasn't what the weather channel predicted.

We went camping twice a year.

This time we got lost. It was five pm. The sun was going down.

We didn't panic - not out loud. Not to each other. But internally, quietly, and eventually - jokingly.
It was thirty degrees in the middle of a forest. Animals were starting to come around - and moan and howl.
I was cold.
Neither of our cell phone would work. A Freezing rain had begun to become more like snow.
It had been 65 degrees just a few hours earlier. More than that - we knew where we were a few hours earlier.
We just kept going in circles.
And what I saw was a wonderful sunset - strained through stained glass autumn trees - all beautiful and foreboding and cruel: the realization that five pm in real life wasn't five pm in this place.
Compelling as this sight was - perhaps this is what the end looks like for the unfortunate few. Those that get themselves lost. In a forest that is too big to deal with when you have no way of making a fire in the rainy, wet freezing cold..
Anyway, it's fall - there are so many things to do!
There are pumpkins to carve, apples to bake - sweaters to pick up from the dry cleaners.
I love this time of year.