A. Rose
Cracked Houses

I was seven years old when my mother fell in love with our landlord. The apartment we lived in, in retrospect, was a slum.

It was a three story red paneled building with eight units, two on each floor, all occupied by cartoonish caricatures of poverty, myself and my mother included. My father was battling alcoholism, and my mother, yearning for stability, filed for divorce and moved us into the red apartment. She got a job down the street waiting tables at a restaurant, and we lived in that apartment for the next five years.