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Housewarming: A prose poem

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OCTOBER 01, 2022

We signed the lease to that apartment for the floor-to-ceiling window. It was in the living room and it overlooked San Francisco. That place had every amenity: a lobby, built-in laundry and AC. It all worked just fine, our chores were assigned and we expected to get close to our roommates in time.

It didn’t turn out to be so. I’d leave scuff marks on the bathroom floor and you spoke too loudly on the phone. My coffee grounds wouldn’t go down the drain, and I had spilled water around the sink again. Her days-old tofu in the fridge and selfish Keurig. The other one kept her soap in a plastic bag, what even was that? 

Fairy lights and their airy flicker can’t warm a house of snide fights and text message bicker. We stared down at the wooden tiles with tight-lipped smiles. They didn’t splinter, but we were on our toes. Thank god for renters’ insurance I suppose. 

It wasn’t all bad; we did trauma bond, coordinating what we said in the group chat whenever we’d respond. We broke the stove and fixed it before they came. When I ate the cookies, you took all the blame. I’d sit in your wheely chair and we’d spin in circles of conversation that went nowhere. Our little nighttime routine about being where we were at 19. 

We toured a few alternatives, we wanted to move out. But after that afternoon, we debriefed, wallowed in our misery, and just got Chinese takeout. When it came time to renew, we knew what not to do. We lost our security deposit — there was permanent water seepage from our tears in those walls. But getting out of there was a net profit — that space was never ours, not mine, nor yours. 

We got our own place, sold all their furniture — 60 dollars of cash that we left lying behind the toaster. I don’t even have curtains, our neighbors can look inside. But I don’t mind, all they’d see is us gabbing at night. My skincare of honey while you’re perched at your lap desk being funny. Our own language; we gossip and bitch, you can’t keep track of all the guys, but I remind you who is which. You lend me quarters for the washer-dryer and I buy you milk because you always forget to have the basic nutrients you require. We joke about my early bedtime, but you know how I sleep late; because I have to give you every single update. 

Our home is snug, with a teal rug and bronze cabinets. But you’re the first reason why, that’s my analysis. We had a housewarming, we wanted all our friends to know. They felt the love here too and so I think we should continue to throw. I’m glad they feel comfortable keeping their shoes on and passing out on the scuffed ground. We’ll let them be, they feel free and we do too. I’m so happy being 20 with you. 

We did survive 505, but even better, it made us arrive at 207 together. 

Contact Mahika Singhal at 


OCTOBER 01, 2022