Monday, July 8, 2019

Diamonds and Rust

Photo Credit Jeff Stroud

I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo.

I had never seen the couple in 203. When I was moving in, I noticed a grey tabby sitting on the fire escape, next to their open window. Someone was trying to learn Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” on the guitar. A crystal suncatcher hung from the sill.

The pre-war apartment walls were thick plaster but the wall separating my bedroom from Diamond and Rust’s was thin, evidence of a shoddy seventies remodel. Those slender walls plus the open airshafts and windows of a hot Brooklyn summer, made every sound from 203 echo through my bedroom.

Thursday night, Diamond and Rust were arguing again. Rust (she’s Rust), was upset by a comment Diamond made about Rust’s job being beneath the earning comps based on her degree. Oh, really? I sat up in bed. That was rich. He was going to go there? About the job she’d worked so hard for? Then I was pacing. Did he think his part time temp gig in an actuary’s office was a career? At least they had comps for what she did for a living. He didn’t know her life. Not like I did. I knew what Rust had to put up with to pay their rent while Diamond worked on his never-ending dissertation. I had heard Rust’s crying calls to her mom about that asshole Steve in marketing.

I stopped pacing. It was quiet. Then, the unmistakable sound of rhythmic bedsprings. She’d apparently forgiven him faster than I had, as usual. Typical. We were all going to be awake awhile.

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