My bedroom has a big closet all along one wall. I use the closest half for my everyday things and the far half for storage, which is plenty for me. I'm not a saver or a keeper, not a pack rat like most of my sisters and my kids, who cannot bear to part with anything. I have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. No skeletons in my closets, nor any dust bunnies, either, thank you very much. Crazy clean, my daughters say. I prefer to say I travel light.
I slide open the door on the far end of the closet. Click, the sensor light goes on. Love it! Plenty of room for the mirror. I'm sliding it in when a drop of water hits my head. I stand there for a minute, waiting for another, just to prove to myself that I'm not loony. Sure enough, another drop falls. This time, it hits the mirror. Splat! It slides down the glass, reflecting itself. Another hits my head, then another. Raindrops keep falling on my head. One of my ex's favorite songs. I look up and see a wet stain in the upper corner. I look down and see the carpet's sopping wet. Good lord, we've sprung a leak! Probably in the bathroom of the upstairs apartment.
I let go of the mirror, go into the kitchen. I keep the number of our super right by the phone. Dick Duffy, a World War II combat vet, a widower and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I dial him up, get the answering machine. I give him my name and my apartment number, though no doubt he knows them both by heart. "I hope you'll get here soon," I say. "I don't want to be swept out in a flood in the middle of the night."
Copyright © 2014 by Julia MacDonnell
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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