My dream home has always been an old bodega.
Obviously, I’m single in this dream (I asked and she said no.) I bring home a lady, and as we approach the bodega, she asks, “Do you live above this bodega?” and I smile wryly and go, “Not really.” She wonders why the gates aren’t down even though this bodega is clearly closed, and why the windows are replaced with frosted plexi-glass.
I unlock the bodega door, and as we enter, the bodega’s automatic lights come on.
“Oh my God, you live in a fucking bodega,” she says.
The old bodega floors are polished light brown. She sees the familiar bodega counter, but it’s now a kitchen with tall seats around the counter, now a kitchen table. To her right, she spies a small living room set up, a couch, a coffee table, a TV against the wall, and to the left of that several familiar shelves, now filled with books instead of corn flakes and cat food.
There’s a door.
We enter the bedroom, aka the old bodega backroom. It has exposed brick walls, and I’ve replaced the harsh cement floor with some sandalwood. The small bathroom has been expanded with a bathtub, and the door to the back has been replaced with a large window.
“Holy shit I can’t believe you live in a bodega,” she says before she shakes my hand and leaves.
The next morning I wake up alone, as I often do now, and walk over to the kitchen. There are two plates and two sets of silverware that I had pre-set the day before, and I pull a large Turkey from the fridge and slice it on the old deli slicer.
The ringing question, “Why did I do this?” is never answered.