The Sign Of The Roach

We moved into our current house when I was six years old. The outside was white with a horrible grass green trim. The upstairs was mostly storage and the upstairs bathroom was so seventies it was upsetting. The windows needed replacing and everything, especially the appliances, were done on the cheap. The main battle though, after the paint jobs, the ghost in the closet, the gross basement, and the appliances, were the roaches. Oh we were rich in cockroaches. One fell on my mom while she was in the bath. I found one in my popcorn bowl. I started killing them in jars and taking them to science class. Finally, we found their nest. Well, we didn’t, a whole team of contractors ran shrieking from the sunroom. You know it’s bad when you gross out contractors.

Well, we’ve found our next roach nest, complete with storm basement and abandoned elevator.

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The storm basement seems like an excellent spot for a murder and the doorbell, pictured above the staircase, is an actual bell, and sounds like an old schoolhouse bell.

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Everything is uneven. This was probably the most off-putting thing after a while, even more so than the elevator which the pictures are not doing justice. It’s so much creepier in person. Double doors have knobs at different heights. The door frames are different heights. In one room a piece of trim on one wall was three feet too high to align with the rest of the room.

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All along the house are mysterious wall mounted appliances  none of us understand. Was this thing in the master bedroom a bed heater? Would you want that? Below the possible-bed-heater in the entryway of the bathroom, lay a dead cockroach. I may be wrong, but the moment I saw it I knew, my dad would want this house. Because no one else will. It’s been on the market so long, and despite the pictures that somehow make this place look large and bright, it’s creepy. Meaning it’s meant for us.

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Because we’re the family that swoops in and fixes things. Sometimes while morbidly speculating the role of the oldest microwave I’ve ever seen in the previous owner’s unfortunate demise.

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The upstairs consists of a loft with attic space and shallow closet space, sans bathroom or clothes closets. The doors of the middle closet opened to reveal my favorite thing in the whole place, this portrait. My dad jumped a foot when he pulled open the doors.

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