The Slums Of West County Essay Research

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The Slums Of West County Essay, Research Paper It was our first day of freedom. On April 10, 1998, my best friend Laren and I were anxiously ready to move out on our own. We had been planning this for months, while sitting at Denny’s for a few hours at a time. We were trying to figure out how much we would each pay in rent, bills, and food. Where we might live and what kind of rules we might have to keep us from killing each other (as roommates are prone to do) were other issues we resolved. So, now the two sheltered West County girls were going to have a taste of life on their own? but not too far away from Mom and Dad, just in case something went awry. The big, beautiful homes we lived in no longer felt big enough for us, or rather, maybe they felt too big for us. We had

picked an apartment complex that was only about five or ten minutes away from our parents and our jobs. Now we had the task of moving 20 years of accumulated boxes to an empty, different room. A room that was half the size of our own bedrooms we lived in now. We had been spoiled little girls and we were just starting to realize it. Two bedrooms and two baths seemed like it would eliminate many problems that roommates often have over sharing a bathroom or bedroom. We had a small kitchen, a decent sized family room with a cable hookup, and a living room connecting the other two. Upon seeing the model apartment the management had decorated, we thought our place would be well worth the money. Neither of us thought we could make such a heinous mistake. After all, we were still located

in West County? or were we? At 7:30 on that moving day morning, I felt anxious to get started. My stomach was screaming complaints at me for being so inconsiderate as to only feed it a breakfast of coffee and nicotine. I knew I had three hours until my friends would be here with the U-Haul, but my nerves were jumping already. I put down my coffee mug in the sink, made a sprint for the stairs, and ended up in my bedroom doorway to find my stepfather already unscrewing the bed frame. With one lung on its way up my throat, I leaned my whole body up against the doorjamb to take a breath. “Heyyy? I was gonna do that!” I grinned at my stepdad. Neither he nor I could tell a screwdriver from a wrench. Well, maybe I had a better chance at guessing. “Yeah, well, it looks like you

still have a lot more stuff to worry about. How about disconnecting that old dork box and putting it in your car? It wouldn’t survive the moving truck with your friends, I know that for sure.” He grimaced, clenching his teeth while he yanked on the bed frame with all his might. What a phrase. “All his might,” referring to my stepdad, means as much as a chipmunk lifting weights. I set about grabbing hold of all the plugs in the wall that connected my computer to the outside world and wiggling each free. Since he was taking care of the bed frame, I set my monitor in the middle of my soft, thick comforter and wrapped it like the ancient, overweight infant it was. Carrying it downstairs to my car was a whole different story. I unwrapped the monitor and picked it up by its

base, my weak forearms straining to balance it on my knee while I got a better grip. Turning myself around to head for the doorway, I was almost knocked off balance by my younger brother, Steve. “Hey, wanna grab the rest of my computer and bring it down to my car? I’m putting it in the back seat with some blankets wedged between them and the front seats.” I raised my eyebrows at my brother who looked as if “Mr. Sandman” decided to take revenge on him. Maybe he wasn’t quite awake enough to respond because all I got was a blank stare and very slow, cautious movement. “Huh? Oh yeah? sure? shoes?” he mumbled. He shuffled out of the room; eyes cracked open just enough to? WHAM! Okay, never mind. I busted out laughing at the same time I saw him covering his forehead