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October 2016, vol 12 no 3

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Adelaide Shaw

The Bates Motel


It's a rundown Victorian converted into six apartments. Our daughter has a one bedroom flat on the second floor. The stairs wobble and creak. The oak banister, grimy and sticky, is loose. Hallway paint is peeled away exposing bare plaster. The dim ceiling light is out half the time. The Bates Motel our son calls it.

Stepping into the flat is a step into an earlier time. The walls are a pale yellow, decorated with animal and flower prints. The mahogany mantel is polished to a high gloss. The gray marble fireplace surround gleams with specks of white and blue. The shiny brass fire tools reflect the sun pouring in from the high windows, which are hung with lace curtains. Beyond the windows is a balcony with a wrought iron café table and window boxes filled with red geraniums. The view…the view is of the Hudson River and a Technicolor sunset.

in Grandma's trunk
a postcard from the Taj Mahal
wish you were here


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