My Dwelling Places
My child home resided in Maryland in the rural area of Western Baltimore, where I lived with my mother and father and my younger brother and sister in a house built near a Christmas Tree farm. It was there I spent my first twenty-one years of life before I inevitably grew tired of small country towns and left the great city of Frederick behind for the unknown lands and people of the South.
I arrived in Charleston four years ago this April and occupied a small apartment in West Ashley with a friend who equally disliked our originating town and moved with me. I lived in a small room in this two bedroom apartment before I decided that the condominium life was not for me and could no longer tolerate neighbors on all sides.
Being unaware of the reputations of the downtown Charleston neighborhoods, I rented a room in the glorious Eastside of Charleston on Columbus Street. Despite the more questionable residents and their occupations, the apartment was incredible and had more character and charm than any other before it. During this stay, I made great friends with the neighbors living across the street and frequently held parties to entertain all of our friends with live music and alcohol. For a brief moment, we thought we had some kind of utopia growing out of the cracks of the ghetto sidewalks, but as it goes with most utopias, it failed. Everyone broke away from the familial bonds we had made, some never to be mended while others grew stronger, and after two years we all went our separate ways, so it goes.
From there, I moved uptown and took a room in a duplex on Peachtree Street, living with my boyfriend and his sister and two cats. The house was nice, in better condition than the last, and the rent was much cheaper, but it never quite felt like a home.
A year later, I moved to my current residence on John’s Island, and this by far is my most loved dwelling place. My room occupies an old cottage on the Stono River and I can see the water from my kitchen window. The house is on a big piece of land covered in pecan trees, magnolias, and live oaks, and when the sun sets I can finally see the stars.