Drop #137: POV

windowI visit Giorgos for the first time at his seven-flight walk-up. His roommate answers: ‘Oh, he’ll be back in ten minutes. You’re welcome to wait.’

I take off my coat, hanging onto it as I stroll around the small apartment. The miniscule bathroom has a toilet, sink and shower all in the same few square feet of space with drain in the center. No curtain, door or other partition separates the shower. There is a squeegee with broken wooden handle in one corner. Neither bedroom has a window and both smell of must. Each has a raised single bed so clothes can be stored underneath. There’s no telling where kitchen begins and living room ends. A stubby mini fridge with a gas camping stove on it crowds the front door. A fold out table leans against the fridge, closed. There is a couch and a crooked side table on which an old Dell laptop sits. A tiny square window is the only link to the outside and I now walk over to look through it.

The first thing that catches my eye is a large round fresh water receptacle off to the left, now defunct. Two dead pigeons are suspended in its off-black void. A rotary washing line, rusted and broken stands nearby. Its slack remaining cords cling to a sweater, pair of trousers and some underwear that have long been deserted. They hang hardened, tinged a fungal green. Nearby is a makeshift cemetery; maybe a single family took burial into their own hands. There are four tombstones. Two have cracked and another has disintegrated. One of the graves looks freshly dug up. They lie under an apple tree with a yield of rotten fruit, beside a polluted pond. The water here is a sick dull brown, probably from the sewerage pipe running into it. Two structures command the right side of the picture: a derelict apartment complex, half burned down, housing only debris, broken household appliances and other garbage now, and diagonally in front of it, an operational slaughterhouse. The pigs are heard screaming as they meet their end, their crudely hacked bits hang dripping off hooks from outdoor racks. The whole scene is luridly painted in various shades of blood.

‘It’s not a great space, I admit,’ the roommate says as I notice another small garbage dump closer by, ‘and we probably could have done better, but we just fell in love with that view. We simply couldn’t pass it up.’

By EM Vireo

About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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