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The front door is at the top of a long run of stairs that are fastidiously painted light blue-grey. The door has a high window, veiled by a frail lace curtain giving form to light. The door itself is heavy, wooden and old so married to the curtain they make an attractive couple.
The kitchen is a comfortable size. It has humble store bought cabinets. Across the dingy but swept tile is a respectable new stove and refrigerator, white and clean, but quite willing to work. Next to the stove is a table, no, a workstation of 2 x 4s and cheap plywood that happily invites chopping, process and conversation. Atop of which is modest wooden shelf holding tools of all kinds; a tomato, salt, sherry, rice, oregano, fish oil, vinegar, Rheum Bologne (from Guadeloupe), a measuring cup, Altoids and a fancy wooden box containing wine openers, pourers, and little measuring devices. On the second shelf are 3 cans of enamel paint (red, yellow and blue), 3 jars of orange, purple and green, and one jar of brown. There is also a small goofy ceramic mug, 3 boxes of tea Chamomile, Green and a Tibetan blend of mysterious roots and flowers and herbs, intended for calming. There is also a soft light blue pouch of tobacco, rolling papers and a small brass urn detailed with 8 dragon heads and a full coiled dragon mounting the lid, mouth open blowing and sucking. Finally, on this shelf is a little plastic tray with a scary Halloween landscape printed on its face. The tray carries a cork, 2 white rubber bands, a big blue rubber band, a paper clip, a clear twisty tie, a brass screw, a misshapen coin with a native American eagle impressed upon it, and a tiny greenish acorn. On the third shelf is a worn, grease stained, and red jacketed book of Puerto Rican dishes by Cabanillas and Ginoriot, a shop stapler, an office stapler, two empty Goya cans with various screw drivers, openers, and gripping tools, a worn red hammer, boxes of staples, boxes of mixed nails, screws, tacks and hanging wires. There are three, nearly spent rolls of masking tape, a pair of soiled blue swead and red stripped work gloves, a paint encrusted can of unsharpened pencils and paint stained orange handled scissors and finally a Smuckers jelly jar holding many tiny real wood split logs, the kind that are perfect for a Lilliputian camp fire. Atop the shelf is an oversized red coffee mug filled with cheap hardware store bought paint brushes, bristles fraying a bit and standing on their raw wood pointed handle toes. There is a hero up there as well, three actually. The first is made of cardboard, cigarette butts, and acrylic paint. He is Eagleman and he barely stands erect. His two powder blue, thumbtack eyes stare blankly from his crushed paper head as he falls back into the weight of his own shadow. Next to him is a noble man, a quiet wooden thinker from Africa. He sits with his chin on his knee, arms wrapped around his thighs. He looks off toward the door, wondering what lessons the next opening with bring. Next to the thinker is a man with no head, a bust with now face, a body with no shape, save for a box, seven and a half inches tall, two and a half inches wide on four sides. He has a skin of woven tan masking tape and a black drywall screw pointed up for a neck. These three weary men welcome, scrutinize and usher.
There is a pantry also, a generous space, painted all white with plenty of shelves. There is a stack of six long shallow shelves on the right and four deeper shelves on the left. Between them is a window with a lovely view of trees. The outer window ledge is a rectangular block of some sort of stone that holds a small green tuft of moss, a tiny epic, a forgotten detail of some lost and romantic time. The pantry keeps this precious secret in full light of day and regards it all night, in Shakespearian longing.
The shelves are populated sparsely. Everything has it’s own safe space. Generations of paint hold all things to serve on, the wrap up in, to eat from and to cover with. Not to mention little machines that make holes in things, cut things in two, measure things and color these same things. There are things for wiping, things for filling bellies, minds and walls. The soft tattered towels, off white dishes, brown wooden bowls and tan electric blankets are from a first wife, given in an hour of old understanding and new empathy. The top shelves hold dangerous and mystical concoctions; tubes of metals and pigments, Cadmiums and hues, gypsum, cotton duct, mineral spirits, jars and cans of all kinds frequency making colors. On the floor are a worn blue bucket, a porous yellow sponge mop and tired old broom with a raw wooden handle.

this place
2009