Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brick Stream

The apartment was too expensive but it boasted open brick face walls so I put down the deposit and prayed.

I didn't know it was a sad apartment until I lived there and caught a virus from the crumbling mortar.

Young, sad and lonesome. I listened to Joni Mitchel and George Winston while I cried and smoked cigarettes. At twenty my world was joyless.

It started to get hard to leave the apartment.

Messages on the answering machine:

"Your rent is past due."
"Who the hell are you?" Light a cigarette. Cry. Don't take a shower.
"Suz, it's mom. Call me."
"Mom? Where are you? I have all this STUFF collected from your storage and It's like I'm home, only I'm not. Like you're just around the corner, or maybe..... in the bricks?" Stay in bed. Don't go to work. NEVER answer the phone.

I started to spend days drinking seltzer water from liter bottles and count the bricks. I ran my fingers around each edge. Sometimes I needed to stand on a chair. One time I stood on my dresser.

I opened the windows at night and laughed at the drug dealers on the corner. I turned my skin inside out.

In the end, I don't know what happened. I wasn't there anymore. I was on the other side.

Maybe I moved the bricks. One by one, and found a secret passage way into or out of what was real or fake.

Or maybe I'm still there and I've fallen asleep on top of the dresser.


  1. I love the way you write, truly.

  2. Sad, beautiful, and real as always.

  3. Excellent.

    Except I'm pretty sure you're not still there, because you clearly have internet access, and you didn't mention having internet access above, and I'm assuming that impoverished 20-somethings can't afford internet access, so you're not asleep on the dresser. You're welcome.

    This was lovely.

  4. Wow--very powerful. You're an amazing writer, Suzanne.

  5. I so feel this. I feel the grainy mortar and the pocketed, bumpy brick. I'm so glad you're free of the wall. Or sleepy.

  6. I can see the apartment and reading this scares me a little and makes me feel like I need to get out of the house. There are three bottles of seltzer on my counter right now. This piece turned MY skin inside out.

  7. walls are sometimes just an illusion, unless they are in front of yourself,,sometimes.

  8. It's amazing how we can still be there, step right into the emotional past, taste the fear and grief. Gorgeous work.

  9. Powerful imagery... powerful.

  10. Good Stuff! I especially liked the last part about being on the other side of the bricks. Very moving and accurately depicted peice:)

  11. I assume that's a piece of short fiction and if so may I just say ... very nice. You didn't even really describe the apartment and yet I found myself picturing it, vividly.

    Anyway I saw that you became a follower of my blog, so I stopped by to return the favor.

    Thanks for visiting!

  12. Woah, I fell into a trance like state as I moved around with you in this post. I ran my fingers around the bricks, I felt the sadness in your life at that moment.
    Brilliant descriptive, emotional piece. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Scary, and very powerful.
    I'm glad you got to the other side of that brick wall.

  14. Beautifully written. Having been trhough depression, "moving bricks" is such an accurate description of the slow movement through your life until you finally, little by little, make a break for it. I love how powerful and vivid this is!

  15. Here are your beautiful words...

    I've missed them.

  16. Hmmm sadly it sounds like we had similar 20th years. I would stay in my dark studio (with the metal bars over the windows and the brown linoleum floor) all weekend and only go out at 1:00AM to buy more Oreos and Coke at the 7-11. It keeps me from romanticizing my 20's tho', in my old age. ;->

  17. Isn't there a saying like Youth is wasted on the young? Oh to be sad and crushed in one's twenties! Beautifully written and the brick metaphor was awesome. You captured me in the imagery.