Dream of: 05 October 1998 "New Accommodations"

While I was looking for a new place to live, Carolina accompanied me to a large old two-story house which had been converted into a rooming house. The house was located in Portsmouth, across the street from Shawnee State University, on a tree-lined street of once-elegant houses most of which had been converted into living quarters for the students at the university.

After Carolina and I had stepped through the front door of the house, a black woman standing to our right on the wide stairs leading to the second floor greeted us. After I apprised the woman that I had come to see the rooms for rent, she bade us follow her up the stairs. Once we had all reached the second floor, the woman pointed out the row of rooms down the hallway, indicating that all but two of the rooms were occupied. One available room was flanked on both sides by two occupied rooms. But another unoccupied room sat by itself at the rear of the building, and I preferred to see that one.

The woman led us to the room at the back of the house and opened the door to the room. As we stepped inside I was a bit surprised. The room was small and cramped. Its walls and floor were all painted white. But most peculiar was the floor, which was made of slats with spaces two centimeters or more wide between them through which I could see down below the room. I could see that the room had been added onto the second floor of the house, and that it had formed a sort of roof to a porch on the back of the house. It would obviously be inconvenient to have large spaces in the floor. It would especially be difficult for me to do yoga exercises on the floor, standing on my head or shoulders on the uneven boards. Nevertheless I liked the room, which had a splendid view thorough a large window of the back yard and the town beyond. Besides that, the room was rather cheap – $40 a week. However, other expenses raised the price of the room. Carolina pointed out a garage in the back yard where I would be able to park my car. But the garage would cost an extra $40 a month. Altogether with all the extras added in, I figured I would pay more than $500 a month for the room. It had been a long time since I had paid any rent because I had owned my own house for so long. I suddenly remembered how expensive rent could be. But I still thought I would take the room.

I knew the black woman showing us the house wasn't the owner, that the owner was another woman. I asked the black woman if the owner also lived in the house and she said the owner did live here, downstairs. This news sounded good to me, because it would probably mean that the room would be quiet. I asked the black woman about the rules regarding talking on the phone and having a television turned on. The woman said that on Sundays no phone calls were allowed from 7 p.m. until 9 a.m.. This restriction seemed a little strange to me but I didn't mind. The woman also said there were limitations on the use of the television so other people wouldn't be disturbed.

Living here would certainly be a change from what I had become used to. I doubted I would stay long — perhaps a month or so, but it wouldn't be bad. I would make the most of my time here, and then move on.

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