The Tower Flat
23.06.2006 - 24.11.2006
As I rocked that first morning in our flat, I looked around and saw this flat as part of a movie set:
No elevator, the character's footsteps echoing through the building as she climbs the concrete steps. Key turning - clunk!- to open a door and face a rickety, metal retractable ladder, which leads to an attic where the loved one sleeps atop a mattress on the blue astroturf floor. Passing through the doorway, habitually moving to one side to avoid tripping on the foot of the ladder, she steps into the three ninety-degree angled pentangular living room. Over the thin strips of wooden parquet flooring she walks to the second of the two square blue rugs (she could play tic-tac-toe on the off-white spots). This person looks out the opened skylight window, elbows leaning on the edge, hands dangling above the clay-tiled roof. To her right, inside, is the brown sofa that fold out into a bed that later she will not make anyone sleep on - it would keep visitors away. A white table is tucked in the corner with two matching chairs. An opening in the next wall reveals the kitchen nook, washer and bathroom. In the latter, a small window remains open to expose a stone wall. Shelving completes this 360 degree view of the main room, from which our character looks down upon the amazing city of Prague: with its castle ghostly in the fog, a city that breathes its history to life amid heat, snow, rain, traffic, and post-Communism commerce.
She wakes from her musings to the sounds of her partner waking up in the attic. Carefully climbing the springy metal steps, she emerges to find the light coming through the one skylight window, brightening the two joined mattresses tucked in one acute angle, and a single mattress (for a potential visitor) in the other. An empty metal rack - like the one found outside of fitting rooms - waits for the clothes that are still in backpacks. This is the closet. A small, long table stands shakily: a potential desk, if it holds up. She silently descends, sitting at the white table, drinking tea from a small bowl, her teacup, looking about at the clean clothes hanging on two, long diagonal beams, that wooden rocking chair, those aluminum framed chairs, that dressed drawer, those handles on the kitchen cupboards. The heat of the past five days, the first five days of their new lives in Prague, is gone, leaving our character refreshed in this new flat.
The church bell chimes ten somewhere in the fog, the birds call and the scene fades into the story of these two travelers and their five months in Prague.