The apartment was advertised as a one bedroom. My last studio was more spacious. 

The front door is pearly white wood with long narrow rectangles embossed on the exterior and a bulbous bronze peephole. The hinge whistles when I turn the handle. 

Across the threshold, the walls of the vestibular front room are pomegranate. 

I will put the loveseat here, flush with the front door. I will call this purple red room the den. 

I will make a friend who has plants so I can get cuttings and put them in glass jars under the window in the den. When my friend visits, I will ask them to remove their shoes and tell them this is customary in my culture. I hope this will also be customary to my friend’s culture and I won’t have to ask. My friend will walk through the archway separating the den from the kitchen-bedroom. The bed will be tucked away in the west wing, as far from the fridge as possible. Thank god the fridge isn’t white. The black is sleek, better for mounting art. My friend will tell me they love how I have utilized the space, and I will put on a kettle for tea. The stove is slim and gas operated. “Fire is what separates humans from other animals,” my friend will say. We drink in the den, on the loveseat, and there will be a coffee table. My friend will visit regularly, preferring my apartment to their group house where they share a bathroom with their ex. After strangers stop trying to chat us up in bars, we will leave the city and move into a farmhouse. The farming will magically be taken care of and we will only have to worry about keeping the inside tidy. There will be animals, of course, this is a farm. Chickens, geese, cows, sheep, shepherd dogs, barn cats who don’t need litter boxes. There will be other human friends living with us on the farm too, other people who will have tea in this den. 

This time, I’ll keep coasters. 

***

Parth Shah is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Wyoming. Prior to graduate school, he produced podcasts at NPR. His work is logged at parth-shah.com

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