Tuesday, August 11, 2009

this assignment made me re-evaluate my childhood

The carpet is dirt and everywhere you look there is brown brown a dark forest of brown and there's no way out. There is a chimney but that's where the birds hide and you don't want to the birds to get you because they'll peck your little eyes out and make you sick. Don't use the doors the doors are all locked and and broken and they'd fall if you tried. So just lay on the floor and look up look at the little yellow lights all covered in web and dust. They don't shine on anything. There is no light. You can't see the old creaking furniture waiting to break and snap and cut you and give you splinters in your eyes. Stay away from the chairs because they're the meanest and given half a chance they would gobble you up.

The worst part about the basement is the air which is damp and moist. It's the air at the bottom of a well. And there are noises, strange little noises which could be the house settling, distributing its weight on the foundation, but which could also be a million tiny bugs you can't see. The cracks in the walls let them in, and they might find their way into your bed, and into your clothes. You'd never know until it was too late. The room is oppressive; it weighs on you. It makes you want to curl up behind the recliner and never ever leave. You would just become a part of it, another fixture, covered over with dirty carpet and sawdust.

Crawlspace Chris Zdenek

The Crawlspace is dead. A fat guy killed it. Clogged it up with his giant hairy body so nothing could get past. The air could not flow, it pooled, and caused the crawlspace to suffocate. Damn fat. The earwigs did not like this. They loved the Crawlspace. Scores would gather and dance on the wood beams, swim in the dirt, and raise their families in the muck. The filth was a Paradise. It will be missed. No more cold ground, or white webs, or pitch black. The earwigs will leave the crawlspace, and devourer their way through flesh, bone, and of course, fat. The feast will cause a confusion as to what is human and what is vermin. Once there is no more fat, the earwigs will be free to leave. Free to burst out of a square opening, an opening large enough for a fat man, and into the over-world. They will be forced to live in a world of light.

Inside House Chris Zdenek

The knob is sticky. Dried Brother's blood changes the color of the knob. What was once gold is now brown. The window in the door is broken and cut him. His blood covered the glass and dried. The window and door were originally used to separate the kitchen and garage, but the window is broken now and the garage is in the kitchen.

It smells. It's not a unique smell.

The carpet is blue but full of toenails. The walls are blue but covered with small hairs. There is something dumb on TV.

The kitchen/garage, living room and a bedroom are all the same room, and it's small. There are three doors in this multi room that can't open. Nobody has ever wanted to open the bathroom door. People are behind the other two doors. They are asleep and will never touch the knobs.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Attic

In the back corner of the oldest child's room there was a door to the walk in closet - and in the back of the closet was a door to the attic. Up a wooden staircase like wood off a ship, still creaking, uneven, slightly swollen here or dried and splintering there - the walk up was narrow and the ascent caused arms to go out instinctively, reaching for walls for balance and guidance in the dim light. Fingers met with the crumbling surface of bricks and sticky cobwebs. Familiar was the attic's ceiling which was at its highest point in the center, but lower and lower on either side. Unnatural and unfamiliar was the utter lack of ventilation, which started over the mouth and and nose like heated gauze and slowly grew more viscous and cloying with every step. The single unlabeled box and rusted gold Christmas ornament were quiet witnesses to the unchanging light and time that passed most rapidly in the daily life of a spider and most reliably in the unimaginably subtle changes in the wearing and eventual decay of the corners of the room. But the most singular, and even most alarming, (after a person became uneasily aware of the their labored breathing) was the worn child-sized rocking chair, seemingly made of the same wood as the floor. In fact, coming up from it almost organically - as though the room had created it out of some unknowable necessity - certainly not made for a visitor, as most anyone who approached it did so reluctantly and with a feeling so strong in their gut that they curled their toes in their shoes and clutched some part of themselves in an effort to remain upright. It was almost as though there was an odor surrounding the chair- the way a person would stop at the exact distance from it and a look would cloud up their face in a new and ugly way. Once the chair made its presence known in the soundless room - it was impossibly to turn away from it without being convinced of a click clicking on the floor - the chair rocking back and forth just enough, as though a child with tiny toes and tiny pointed shoes sat in it, pushing off with an unsettling regularity. A guest would look away from the chair and then turn back to it, sick with expectancy, certain it would be rocking just that tiny bit, despite the lack not only of a breeze - but of any real air at all. Nothing but a kind of permanent stillness - so still as to resemble a death. But with that chair there, threatening to move, there was almost a new whisper - one of hostility, the moment before violence, but with a control that made even the strongest observer feel small and undeniable human - a sudden awareness of blood and fragility of bones, thin connections to the heart and of soft places like the throat, the very bottom of the belly, even the arch of the foot...and anyone who had visited the attic began an instant move away and most certainly a descent down the stairs backward - hands again on the walls - reluctant to turn their backs on the little chair, the seat of which curled upward like a toothless smile and seemed to watch them go - down, down one simple step at a time - until they finally had to turn and take the last few stairs at a leap while holding their breath.

The family room to the South of the main entrance may also be regarded as the yellow room. Yellow curtains, yellow carpet, and yellow apulstrary on the furniture. The condition of the room is not decrepit, in fact, it is quite the contrary, the sterile condition of this room would inform one that it is indeed a room claimed, but not occupied. The air is still and suffocated. The condition and presentation of the furnishings is so matriculate that one walks carefully in this room. One dares not breath. As a mortician prepares the superficial layers of a rotting corpse for a funeral presentation, one must prepare the outer most layers of their begrudged soul for the presentation before the community.

The door way to the basement is small and strangely shaped. Visitors often mistake it for a closet. Making one’s way down the stairs one must watch their head from obstruction from the corridor that directs the stairway. Only when one makes their way to the bottom are they able to view the basement. A picture of a benign and ghastly clown hangs crooked between the dirt and brown leafed clouded window. A large orange chair, the singular area of comfort, among the many boxes and hard corners remains torn and unintended as it drops foam from its left shoulder. A platform holding a most violent and miniature raceway hangs by a contraption created by an eccentric mechanic. Its very presence promises possible dismemberment.

Sunday, August 9, 2009



The air tastes like iron and rust and sugar. The carpet dirt waits. The face on the wall is peeling and faded, but the disappointment in its eyes is not abated by the blood trickling down from forehead to sandals.

Healthy and easy recipes are bound up with digested american classics and stories of courage, soft- and hard- covered, and set into the headboard of the bed like lungs in a ribcage. Two windows, four walls, a closet, and a door.

The living room is not. The furniture is large, boxy, and wooden. The end tables are end cabinets, packed with losing magazines and papers. As the World Turns plays on an oak encased color-TV. A sweating tumbler of iced-tea and bourbon sits by a homemade ashtray with a golf ball handle on top of a squat table behind a loveseat parked three feet from the TV that holds the sleeping form of Cancer. On the edge of the puffy couch opposite the loveseat sits Cancer, snapping off the ends of green beans (the ends go in a trash bag, the middles in the metal colander sitting on the coffee table) with her daughter Pneumonia who sits cross-legged on the floor on the other side of the table. On the couch next to Cancer sits Cancer, wearing a moustache and a hat cocked at a jaunty angle. The gauzy white curtains of the bay window over the couch let in just enough dry and dusty sunlight to catch the eyes of Crib Death lying on a bed of pillows on a blue chair. Hepatitis-B and Overdose sit around the formica table in the kitchen picken’ at the crab Suicide and Suicide pulled out of the bay.

Next to the kitchen the dryer spins and from the couch in the living room I can hear the zipper on my grey sweatshirt tapping the door.


Smoke. Splinters jut out of shoddy plywood, painted white as an afterthought, looking as though a chain of magnifying lenses extend from the wood to the eye of the viewer, giving the impression that the slightest forward movement would impale the eye, but upon stepping back the effect dissipates into the haze that caused it. Smoke. An arched ceiling, a single window, a curtain covering a hole cut into the side of the plywood that creates the 5 x 5 room in the corner of the attic. Smoke. A mattress lies flat in the center, sinking into the floor. Cutting through the dirty window is the sort of moonlight that one sees late on the night they realize that one day they will die. Muhammad Ali and Superman stand toe-to-toe in the ring, frozen into their final blows, barely illuminated by the single red glowing ember that freezes and binds everything in the room, trapping it in the smoke.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sarah's Singularly Dreary Description of Her House

Inside of the house:
At the right time of evening, a suppressive sun-sucking blue light seeps in through the window of the room. The blue moan only seems to further darken the ugly wood paneling that reaches from the floor to half way up the wall. The navy-blue stripes that complete the wall from where the wood stops up to the ceiling are as confining as prison bars. The large, moldy-pumpkin-colored, velvet couch, under the window, becomes a monster of cushions, capable of pulling anyone down for a suffocating slumber that paralyzes the body and strangles the mind. The doorway of the room exposes the light that is visible throughout the rest of the house. It is only a teasing glimmer of what resides outside of the jail that this room resembles.

Again with the ugly wood paneling, only this time it encompasses the entirety of the walls, illuminating the image of a rabid beaver’s den. The musty brown carpet and stupidly low ceiling instantly make you feel as if you have just walked into the beaver’s trap. The overpowering brown color in the room is thick as mud. The nauseating smell of canine still lingers in this room like a stain; a ghostly reminder of the dog that was once imprisoned day after day in this murky den.