Essays

On Living in a Studio Apartment

There is very little food in my refrigerator, but it hums just the same. It is hidden around the corner of the wall. I can’t see it from where I lay here in my bed. But I can hear it.

The sunlight is hovering to my left, coming in through the windows; it’s just sneaking in. Its shy and thankfully not terribly bright. Bright sunlight in my eyes is akin to lighting me on fire; I’m not interested in it. Ever.

Living in a studio is an experience. The first side effect that I have seen is the incessant conversations I have with myself. They cover a wide range of topics, the most popular being my eternal consternation as the crawling pace of my Internet connection. I flume about the room, finding what I think to be “hot” spots only to lose it again and curse until I am red in the face. It’s a momentary frustration that is beautiful in its aloofness and noncommittal tone. I don’t even think I am really mad, just tired of watching the little spinning ball tell me that a website has in fact been contacted and now we must wait for it to respond. It’s as if sometimes the website is a seven year old child, throwing a tantrum of epic proportions and the only way it will get what it wants is by not allowing the Internet Explorer to display the page. This, of course, leaves me in the “frustrated parent in the middle of the mall role” trying to remain calm while pulling the slobbering child up by his or her arm in a manner that doesn’t look like an indictment on my love. I then care for the saliva drenched mess.

Also, I talk to myself about not wanting to get up in the morning, about the extreme heat or sudden lack of heat coming from my radiators. I can spend one night sprawled on the bed, wearing only underwear, two fans going while outside the windchill is below zero. Or, on other nights I am locked into my blankets like a mummy in a sarcophagus, just waiting for the radiators to choke and sputter to life, giving me enough reassurance that I won’t freeze on my way to the bathroom.

To the right of my bed are a number of posters and small “geegaws” as my stepmother would call them plastered on the wall. A Shining poster sits over my stove while a Raging Bull poster is hovering over my guitar and unused television. My trash can seems to take on a life of its own. I am always putting, and therefore, finding it in different positions all throughout the room. It seems to always be at least halfway full, which is a source of a the mildest form of irritation because in my infinite search for ways to cut costs I didn’t buy large enough trash bags to really hold the amount of refuse I create.

There is a ceiling fan with surprisingly little dust on it and pull strings that are at least a foot too long; often, they smack me in the face at the most sadistic times. The fan is a great asset when the radiators are working overtime.
I’m already getting used to the angles of this place. I am now accustomed to awaking and seeing the large, wooden chair in front of me as well as the bookshelf that very much looks like it is defying all laws of geometry in its effort to stay up. It was $28 at Wal Mart. It shows. Oddly enough, I do not find it that disturbing the word that greets me every morning from the bookshelf is “Gulag”.
In the end, as the sun shows me more of the coming day, it feels much bigger than it actually is. And, let’s be honest, it is my home and my office, so I’m very happy with it.
I just wish that damn refrigerator would show some manners and shut its whore mouth.

Kevin Crispin
What do you think is up to my right in the picture? A cob web? Probably a cob web. Or maybe it's my Beatles records on top of my air conditioner. It's certainly not fresh, new wainscoting.

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