Barren

by Berlin Germanium

The apartment is sparsely littered with furniture; a cheap pressed-wood desk sits in the corner, some yellowed papers scattered across the top, a rusted metal bed with a thin, worn mattress, and a threadbare recliner sitting underneath a pile of cardboard boxes. Around the room, there are holes drilled in he splintered wood floor, underneath each hole a name: Mildred Donahue, Antonio DiNapoli, Gretchen Weissman, William Flowers. I press my eye to the hole labeled Gretchen Weissman, to find that I can see straight into the apartment below. There is an old woman asleep on her couch, a brown cat curled up on her stomach; I cross to the other side of the apartment. There is an old Polaroid tacked to the wall, the subjects of which are wearing enormous grins, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders – Jane and I, 1983, the caption reads. As I turn to leave, I wonder if the young man in the photo’s life had become as much a barren wasteland as his apartment had.

6S

Berlin Germanium wrote this for her AP English class in 11th grade. Her fantastic blog is here.