The old leather recliner sat in the corner under a single-bulb pole lamp. A prized comfort, in its day, yet by then, tattered and torn and too large for such a small room. The room was the apartment; the whole apartment was that room. Just two windows, chest-high. A basement studio, in a building built into a hill. The view was a jagged granite wall. No red clay in sight. But it was Atlanta. Midtown. If there was dirt to see, it would be red. But out the window, only stone.
She never lived there with me. She came around, all the time. Spent the night, more often than not. But it was my name on the lease, my hand-me-down furniture, my name on the mailbox in the lobby.
Decades later, she’ll call it “our place.” She'll try to possess even that — the memory.
He remembers the final day, but I don't. She met him outside, stood next to the granite wall and drove the final wedge between us. They never spoke again. And I, always caught between.
Time wears on, and the thing I remember most clearly is sitting in that comfortable old recliner, watching the street lights glimmer just beyond that menacing granite wall.