“It’s called Plum Purple,” said my room mate Sarah as she ashed her cigarette into a glass half filled with water. She spent the day painting her dwarf bedroom. I could see dried brush strokes and patches where the old eggshell white glowed. She had already tapped magazine cutouts of Van Gogh paintings to her wall and strung Christmas lights across the ceiling.
The Plum Purple paint was a bruise in the apartment. Each day after work I passed her room and it seemed to turn a shade darker. The more she smoked and allowed dirty dishes to mold under her bed, the more her paint resembled decay and not plums. If our apartment could have talked it would have begged to have her room amputated.
It took all my strength to ignore the sound of her bead curtain clanking in her closet as she tried on outfits with no where to go. It reminded me of the paint, the marsh of dirty clothes, and her hot flat iron on the floor.
“Do you think you will be able to get it back to it’s original color?” I asked her one day.
“Duh,” she replied as she tried to feed her turtle a pellet that was bigger than it’s head. She had recently bought her new pet from a woman in downtown L.A. who sold illegally bred amphibians and knock off purses.
“Is that turtle still alive?” I asked.
“I think so, it just won’t eat,” she answered, “oh well, I tried.”