Friday, June 08, 2012


This weekend's challenge: Using up to 333 words, recount a time of life that can be clearly identified by the number three. The story should be be true-ish, and an artistic creation, not just a play-by-play account. Think less "blog post" and more "creative writing." 

The landlord’s tour didn't take long because the apartment was only 650 square feet. Just a three-room walk-up on the top floor of a “vintage building,” which is real estate speak for “real old.” As we moved from living room to dining room to bathroom, I was indifferent. All I  saw were badly damaged hardwood floors,  a tub but no shower, and steam heat but no air conditioner.

“Ok,” I thought. “It’s not great but it’s what I can afford.”

But when we got to the narrow galley kitchen, I fell in love.

A wide, shallow pantry took up half one wall, a sink with exposed plumbing  took up the rest. There was an old Frigidaire that would require defrosting with pans of boiling water and my blow-dryer set on high, and a gas stove that would have to be lit with matches. The heavy backdoor had a transom! And there was an odd little set of three shelves, waist high and recessed into the wall.

“What’s up with this?” I asked.

“This building is from the 1920s,” the landlord explained. “That was the door where the iceman made his deliveries.”

Suddenly I was enchanted. It was no longer a dingy old apartment, no longer just what I could afford. Now it was a home where generations of women before me had lived. I could imagine one wearing a house dress, standing right here, preparing dinner while hearing about the Crash of 1929 on the radio. Maybe another had come in through this big back door after seeing Casablanca on a date with her boyfriend. All at once I saw beauty and heritage in this kitchen, as only a highly-romantic 18-year-old girl can, and I believed I belonged with those women I imagined had stood on this old linoleum before.

"I'll take it." The three magic words sprang from my lips and Apt. 3A was mine. I lived here happily for more than 20 years.


  1. I just HAD to comment because I, too, experienced nearly the same at 21 with my first apartment in the city(although a 2 bedroom). It had transoms and the same delivery method for ice AND radiators in every room! Loved that knocking. Thanks for the memory.

  2. Very well done!

  3. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Oh, I liked this one. For many years I lived in the Lovelace building in Bozeman, Montana. My apartment was two rooms, with a shared bathroom down the hall. My door had a transom. Your piece brought back many memories. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous11:13 PM

    I like your descriptions - the place seems like it had such character. I really like how you imagined the memories of those there before you.

    Things are too new where I live - not enough history. (My first place was a 300 sq. ft. studio with roaches. Ick!)

  5. Anonymous2:25 AM

    Thanks for linking up with Trifextra this weekend. This house sounds amazing, if you want my opinion. :-) I wish you had some photos to accompany your post, but I love what you said about envisioning the history before you. Great take on the prompt!

  6. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Really enjoyed this. Nice job!

  7. It sounds beautiful, and the fact that you lived there for 20 years shows how much you loved it.

  8. Anonymous10:11 AM

    The house I grew up in had a door for the milkman that I was completely enchanted by! It's the little things that you really love about a place.

  9. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Am I correct that there were 3 3's? Props to you if so! (And if not, still a great story!)

  10. great job with the prompt 3 3's!

    This brings back memories of my first couple of living on my own deals during college. very vivid writing Gal

  11. I really seriously love this story. I can identify with it, and from the comments it sounds as though other people can too. Really well done!

  12. Beautiful. My second apartment was in a beat-up old building but what sold me was the gorgeous wooden floors and the radiator. I loved that place.

  13. I can soooo see this place. :)

  14. I can soooooo see this. :)


Sorry about adding Comment Moderation, folks. But look at the bright side, at least I've gotten rid of word verification!