‘I was happy living on my own’


The Blue Kitchen, Ludvig Karsten, 1916

From The Walrus:

The apartment was a dive. There was no way to defrost the freezer. It was just a solid block of ice. When you opened the door, it was like looking out a small window after an avalanche.

I couldn’t find a roommate because there were so many cockroaches in that kitchen. I would find them inside my teacups in the morning. Cockroaches were underneath the wallpaper. They would crawl into the drain and then come out of the faucet. I drew a line with special chalk on the floor in the kitchen doorway to keep them contained.

Still, I was happy living on my own. Next to the door, there was a bronze light-switch cover that had a pattern of climbing roses on it. One day, at a garage sale, I bought a matching painting of a rose to hang above my table. I decided then that there would be more and more roses in my life.

“Looking Back on My Montreal Kitchens”, Heather O’Neill, The Walrus