There was this one house I lived in, a very large old victorian in San Francisco, near the hospital by Haight street. The building seemed to be some kind of annex to the hospital, perhaps at one time housing staff or patients who were doing somewhat better or maybe even dying, but it was now just a place for people to rent rooms in.
It wasn’t like a hotel or anything though, just a series of rooms, too many to comprehend. I lived there for several months and never went up the stairs. There were people there I had never even met. The house kept going and going.
I had dreadlocks then, and barely washed, mostly because the bathroom terrified me. The shower floor was slick with a green slime that had grown from years of use without being cleaned. The shower water would only nourish the mildew and mold like it was a sprinkler watering the grass underneath my feet. I felt dirtier after showering and so I just never went in there. I made do in my own room and washed my body piecemeal, feet then head then other parts when needed. I could do this because my room had a small sink and mirror.
I also had a television and there was this extremely beautiful but mysterious and thin couple who lived at the front of the house, and who I believe I did the renting from – I don’t even remember their names, but they kind of went together, like “fee” and “fo” or “di” and “doe” would sometimes be sitting on my futon watching shows, which I didn’t mind but I’d also wish that when I came home late at night they’d stay and keep watching with me rather than skittering quickly out of the room like elegant but insecure cats.
I paid $125 a month, usually in cash and the money would disappear into the giant armholes of a green or grey sweater. Once I saw a little girl down in the hallway across from the scary bathroom, and I said hi, and she didn’t say anything and I just went in my room. It was weird because later I found out there were no children who lived there or visited.
I think about that house and I have driven by it and I wonder who or what is in there now. I left the television behind when I moved because I was determined to be on it rather than watch it and I guess that is what happened.
I wonder about that couple.
I wonder if that was a little girl I saw.
Omg the lights just went out here. Seriously.