Description of a Room

Malec’s room was on the first floor of the fourth house from the left in a row of six. A tattered cloth hung loosely in the large window facing Neville Street. Malec didn’t have proper furnishings, only those things other people had discarded – dysfunctional chairs, ugly lamps. Wooden planks on cinder blocks served as a bookshelf. A heap of comforters, blankets and couch cushions was his bed. The room didn’t have a closet. Two large recliners were heaped with clothes – one clean, one dirty. A hook on the back of the door held his coats. The floor was hidden beneath an array of personal effects – books and papers, a record player and albums, boxes of junk, halloween masks, hats, socks, pens, a laptop, boombox, medicine bottles, tissues, empty bottles of whiskey, ashtrays, toiletry items, gadgets and gizmos and anything else he had picked up along his haphazard way. At various points in our acquaintance there could be found bags of wet clay, deer skulls, dried flowers and potted plants, another battered old chair pulled out of the trash. On the mantel Malec kept his most treasured things (besides his books) – a large hooka, a brass candelabra, a yellow rubber ball sitting in a ceramic bowel, bird feathers, pictures torn from magazines, plastic action figures of aliens and such. Despite this menagerie of clutter my friend always made me feel welcome, hurrying to clear a spot to sit, offering whiskey, cigarettes or a book – and of course his endless conversation sustained by his indefatigable, manic personality.

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SM

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