On the City Pattern Project: April 24, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse contemplates an old friend.

Date of Picture: April 24, 2008

Location: Our garden in Washington Heights.

Even as a child in Pittsburgh, we loved this table.

All winter it would sit out on the porch as we stared longingly at it.

Every May, when it was finally warm enough (this obviously before global warming), our mother made the decree: the porch could be opened for business!

Of course we had to clean everything first: the cement floors, the screens, the table and chairs, the awnings. The indoor/outdoor rug was the worst: it smelled like a wet dog.

Our older brother was luckier than us: he got to spray-paint the table.

But then it was done and we could all go out on the porch. (There was even a television!)

As long as it was warm enough, we ate dinner here every night. Our mother cooked and passed everything through a window from the kitchen. (It was our job as the youngest to set the table.)

This was life in the suburbs. It was the 1970s.

Sometimes we look back and ask: exactly what made us so desperate to escape?

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