Archive for May 17th, 2011

17th May
written by amber

The Upstairs Room

It was the cheapest place I could find, not in a good neighbourhood, not furnished.  I had to cook on a hot plate and I shared a bathroom one floor below with two ancient bachelors who were very clean but who left a lingering old man smell in the tub.  I’d bleach it every time I wanted to use it.

And yet I have never been happier.  The stained glass window beneath the slanted ceiling revealed an airy view of rooftops, treetops and the distant prairie.  I lived downtown, yet I enjoyed glorious sunsets and sunrises.  The light poured in from all sides of the large attic room that was bedroom, kitchen and painting studio in one.

I slid the windows up and planted nasturtiums in the window boxes.  I bought inexpensive throw rugs and glass vases at Kresge’s, treated myself to fresh flowers once a week, whipped up omelets on the hot plate and ate them with cheap red wine.  I was proud of the little home I had made for myself.

I made friends at college, invited them over for tea and cookies, everyone sitting on the floor, sometimes someone would bring a guitar.

Then I had my first show and I met people I’d never dare to bring to my garret with its clanking heat pipes and permanent smell of boiled cabbage.  I met the man I was going to marry.  I invited him to visit.  He never said much about the place, but after several months he offered to take me ‘away from all of this’ and, god damn it, I let him.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

‘The Upstairs Room’ is another story inspired by last Sunday’s writing workshop.  Joan Melvin challenged us to write a story triggered by a picture on a book cover.