This house is not to scale. The Sinatra has a powder room,
while the Columba has a water closet, he says, as if it means something.
I laugh. I am wearing my boots and a two hundred dollar dress
because we are pretending to be grown ups, but grown ups don’t laugh
and my handbag cost fifty cents and we don’t want a room
for our play-station. The man looks at us as if we come from
very far away, though it’s only twenty-five minutes up the road
and we do that every time we need to buy milk and bread and shoeshine.
Size is everything and the rule is you have to have three types of cladding.
Before we went in, we felt we were doing something dirty
like going to Club X, or contemplating swinging, or mixing our rubbish
with our recycling. At home our chickens have been cooped up
and one of them is getting pecked by the others, we call them the bitches.
We’ve built a new separate coop for Rosie who gets pecked and we made it
out of a wooden box and a stained glass window and she stays in there
all the time. She might die still, but at least she’ll spend her last days
in peace. I think about Rosie and the chickens and wonder what would happen
to them if we lived here. What would happen to us all? The backyard
is a sliver of green, with plants that were frightened into existence.
They manufacture the air you breathe because there’s not enough here
to sustain us, but that’s an extra, it will cost you.