This is not good, I thought while remembering the first time I visited her home, on Christmas Day.
The red brick abode sat at the end of a dead-end street. When he turned onto the neglected street I saw broken-down cars on the side of the road and cars that remained in one spot for so long that grass had begun building up around the tires.
A torn screen followed by a front door with holes ripped from age or gunshots—I wasn’t quite sure—greeted us upon arrival.
There was little space in the cramped living room as everyone gathered around the tree to open gifts, watch television, and chat about the latest family gossip. Everyone was warm and welcoming: cousin Fred, aunt Toot, next-door neighbor Eunice.
The kitchen countertop didn’t sit up quite right. It sloped down on the right side while the tile in the corner by the window air conditioner unit peaked up in the corners, similar to a good Baptist member exiting his seat with the lift of his pointer finger.
The bathroom was atrocious. It was unclean and smelled of mold, mildew, and other truck stop bathroom-y smells. From that point forward I always used the restroom before or after going to his mom’s.
I never visited any other rooms down the narrow hallway leading to the back of the house. All the doors were closed anyway, so I couldn’t even peek in.
If I don’t feel comfortable visiting, I know I can’t live there, my thoughts raced...
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