My home’s patio

by | Feb 18, 2014 | daily prompt

Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?

We lived in a rented flat. We were in the sixth floor just under the roof. We had a kitchen and a heater fuelled with charcoal and an old elevator that was frequently out-of-order, which was a problem. Above all for the poor man who delivered the charcoal each week carrying the heavy sack. Our neighbour next door rented rooms to students.

The biggest star in our neighbourhood was a law student who had a room rented. He never completed his grades. He was always in the bar, never in the classroom. Handsome and charming, he was a failure as a student but was successful with girls. He spent a lot of years being a student. At least twelve. He even printed a visit card with the title “Student of law” on it. I don’t know how he did it without being expelled. Now I suspect he had been expelled and he was simply pretending. He was quite a character. Eventually he disappeared. I guess his parents grew tired from paying his easy life and his finances collapsed.

The other neighbours in our floor were the building’s porter and his family. A big family with the grandparents the parents and six kids, all packed in a few rooms.
We all have in the kitchen a balcony open to a narrow patio. But not the patio you can imagine, but a simply roofless inner space in which we could communicate with our neighbours easily chatting from balcony to balcony. No phone needed. It was fun. Most of the time.

Some home tasks like hanging the washed clothes or go to the larder to take something to cook were absolutely public. We knew what our neighbours were cooking and they knew about us.

Down, in the patio’s ground, there were several cats, controlled by the porter, to get rid of mice and rats. No place for recreation there. It was dark and ugly.

Sometimes with heavy rains the ground get flooded. That was the nearest thing to a swimming pool I saw in my neighbourhood.

Daily Prompt: West End Girls.
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