The View From Up Here

From my window, which takes up an entire wall cut up into three sections, I can see the building across from mine, a twin image of white cinder blocks stacked on top of each other in a fleeting form rising to the slanted roofs of England. The English and their slanted roofs, but really, everyone has slanted roofs. The river is solemn and dry, running twenty feet deep and dark, swelling against the white underbelly of the graffiti-ed building on its opposite shore. There is a single lamp post but its light is not lost in the dark that descends too early, for there are a few yellow candles along the prison walls that I inhabit and they light the otherwise blackness.

My room is small, but large for a single. A single desk and chair, bed, and bedding pack awaited me when I arrived. On the desk was a brown box that said “UEA First Class” and I spent twenty minutes staring at it, looking into its nooks and crannies, wanting to open it but not wanting to break it. For safe keeping, you understand. There are three shelves, four if you include the counter, and then three drawers, which are all stacked in a column next to a closet that came with hangers and more shelves. My shoes are on the floor. There is a furnace and it is warm, but slow to heat. The ledge on the window is where I have placed my beauty products, because I am at a lack of space. Nothing but bags and red carpet are on the floor. When I step into my room I am a movie star.

The city has cobblestones, not good for heels or sneakers and a pain for growing calves. The streets wind up and down and left and right. The market sits multicolored and striped. British people and international people walk by. The buses are double-deckers and if you sit at the top front seats you can see the world. And the castle. It is quite boring, built of leggos.

The university is built so you are forever suspended in mid-air, not knowing if you are on the ground floor or up above. It always seems like you’re standing on the ground until you come upon steps leading down. At the pub they serve you apple sweat and lagers so thick it will melt your blood until you are a gecko stuck to the walls or the windows, whichever is nearest. But really, you’re just a stack of cards.

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