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there is a narrow set of two flights of stairs, open to the public. crammed between a law office and the local spa, this entrance is easy to miss. at the bottom of these flights, i see the dull gray paint peeling off the stairs, and a screen door that separates the two. i climb up the steps and on my right, there are several rectangular, black mailboxes patched with rust. the screen door, always unlocked, is usually propped open by a rough, gray brick. at the top of the steps, there is a faded burgundy carpet that floors a large room. there are 5 apartments here. i walk to the left.

my first time here, i had trouble finding which was mine. there are no numbers by any of the brown, wooden apartment doors. the bottom door latch doesn’t work. the landlord, an old man with the whitest sneakers i’ve seen in a while, assures me that he’ll get it fixed.

we walk inside, and i am in awe. my first apartment.

the living room and kitchen are only separated by a rectangular island near the kitchen window. above there are cupboards, nice cupboards, ones that fully close and are sturdy. the bathroom is attached the kitchen, and our rooms (for my roommate and i) are joined to the living room.

the landlord is speaking, something about needing to fix something in the bathroom. i nod while observing the carpeted floors and wooden furnishings. i hear him say, let me show you the rooms, and i follow.

he shows me a large room, with a long window on its north wall, and a small closet that is closed by a white curtain and metal shower rings. this impresses me, and i imagine my dresses hanging inside the closet, with my twin sized mattress nestled beside the window.

we leave the room and go to the other one, and i feel my eyes widen with excitement. this room is much smaller, with no closet, save for a wooden pole horizontally stuck to wall. but the windows, they are so beautiful. three large window panels are attached together, on the far eastern corner of the room, overlooking the roads below. i tell the landlord it’s beautiful, and he supposes it is.

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