Friday, July 30, 2010


It's summer. Two college students are sharing an apartment in Toledo. The $12 bookends cost more than any of the furniture in the apartment. The closet door is open and hanging over it is a beach towel -- both students are too stingy to pay for the dryer. Washrags are draped over rungs of chairs and dress clothing lies flat on the floor for the same reason. The vinyl tablecloth is masking-taped under the table and the fan clicks as it spins. Two sunhats flop over a chair.

On the windowsill: an assortment of pots (origins, left to right: antique store, flea market, Mom's garage, brother's beer mug collection, thrift store; contents, left to right: dead basil, rosemary, empty because the spider plant got spilled, live basil, ivy), two tomato paste cans (one with quarters, one with pens), a pile of receipts, a glass of water, and a mason jar.

On the floor: a Mac, a PC, six pairs of shoes, one pair of socks (about four feet apart), two mugs, a pair of sunglasses, a mixing bowl, Early Christian Writings, a DVD of 30 Rock Season 2, a laundry bag, a pile of newspapers, a postcard from an indie/hippie store, a camp hat, a mirror, and a draft of a big project.

On the walls: a drawing of Ernest Hemingway, a map of Michigan, and an art print that looks like horses if you're a girl and dinosaurs if you're a guy. No curtains. A broken air-conditioning control.

On the bookshelf: a pen and a pencil, a crochet hook and an unfinished project, a few stamps, a pair of cheap binoculars, a 4x6 file box, a copy of the lease, a box of frog notecards, a coaster with a parrot on it, a pile of bulletins from several churches, a flyer for the art museum's psychadelic 60s exhibit, a long receipt listing now-overdue books from the public library, craisins, and the little thing that broke off from the air-conditioning control.

On the other bookshelf: overdue library books (lots), a frisbee, and a little cardboard box.

In the cupboard and drawer: three forks with blue paint on the tips, five knives from various thrift stores, too many spoons, a borrowed set of (matching! china!) plates/saucers/teacups, four bowls from somebody's Greek grandfather's restaurant, four boxes of South Beach Diet Strawberry Harvest cereal, one empty box/jar/food container that Betsy hasn't found yet, and too many frying pans.

What are they eating for dinner?

a) pizza
b) macaroni and cheese
c) hamburger helper
d) salmon and vegetables sauteed with spices and a hint of lemon on top of farfalle with olive oil


  1. I would pick d, but isn't Betsy a vegetarian? Or maybe salmon counts as vegetables. ;-) So I pick b. (And it's "macaroni.")

  2. spelling fixed- thanks

    yes, salmon is a vegetable, but it doesn't sautee as well as carrots