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Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2005 - 4:34 p.m.

~ there's no place like home ~

I've lived... a four-room second-floor apartment in a bedroom with no door sleeping on the bottom bunk of a bed I shared with my younger sister who sometimes hung over her bed to scare me. a rented house that had no hot water for one year in my own bedroom with a hook-and-eye lock on my door and a heating grate where I knelt to watch my mother fight with her married boyfriend.

...on the floor of the attic of an unheated house up for sale after the woman who owned it died of liver complications a month after I moved in and a month before my father died. the finished-but-damp basement of my grandfather's house sleeping on one lumpy side of a thirty-year old sprung mattress surrounded by a blue and green shag carpet that frequently was covered in water when it rained. the newly-painted two-room attic of a giant Bernese Mountain Dog who was excellent company and a forty-year old woman who had had a surprise four-pound eleven-ounces full-term baby with her ex-boyfriend. the basement family room on a guest bed in a corner of a house with three South African girls who had just watched their mother die from four years of breast cancer and their six-foot seven-inch father who didn't want to be a parent for a year. the in-law bedroom under the bedrooms of two little boys in sweat pants who slammed their doors every morning while their parents screamed at them.

...on a foam flip chair unfolded to be a bed in the tiny basement bedroom of a house with two little girls whose parents left them in the second-floor bathtub alone while they opened their mail in the first-floor kitchen. hotel beds with a twelve-year old actor in the other bed as we toured the country with a Broadway show and seventy cast and crew members. a closet-sized bedroom of a five-floor house of a four-person family under the nursery, above the laundry room, next to the family room with a window overlooking the lower-level of the deck. a basement bedroom with no finished ceiling belonging to a family who ignored their son's inability to speak and his masturbating where the first big rain that flooded my room heralded the arrival of a wet vac always parked at the foot of my mildewing bed. a quiet wing of the smallest house on a street filled with mansions living with two girls adopted from China and their very tall parents who worked long hours in the city.

....on a kitty-cornered bed up against a staircase door with my partner in a studio apartment that was actually a one-bedroom with radiators that didn't work some days and a carpet that was mauve where it wasn't stained beige and grey.

...on a bed covered in orange velvet and balanced on risers with my partner who tolerates the Rubbermaids of photos under the bed and the knickknacks lining the walls and the many unfinished projects on my craft table and the closet filled with enough clothes for half a dozen fat girls and the tv almost always on.

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