Project Description

House Dreams | Nancy J. Nielsen

The one-bedroom apartment
is hot and stuffy, my papers
clutter everything. I hate
avocado, but I see it
everywhere—carpet, walls, ceiling—
even the outside world sometimes seems
avocado green. Rusty pipes
rattle; I pretend they do not; a
drone of cars passes by. The linoleum
burn in the 3-step kitchen reminds
me of the dust in the cupboards I
refuse to clean. I flick a silver switch
that lets in soft music and partially
hides the awful green. Pushing aside
some papers, I make room for
my day.

The house is cozy,
old, but sturdy, with
hardwood floors and a
garage out back. Pots and
baskets hang above the kitchen’s
butcher-block table; fresh herbs
grow near the window where the
sun shines in. We sit at night
in front of the fireplace on a rust-
colored Persian rug, lean against a
tweed Scandinavian couch and eat
popcorn. The oak mantel was dusted
by the one who comes and cleans. You
take my hand and lead me up the
banistered stairs that creak
softly, flowers on the dining room
table still smell fresh, and the bed
linens are clean. Standing on the tiled
bathroom floor, I wash garden
dirt from my nails. Together
we sleep curled under an autumn
quilt, the window is open slightly, and I
want for nothing.