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Broken Screen

The squawk of the pigeons made me notice. So I started paying attention to the enclosed alcove outside my window, the bathroom window and the walls. First, the pigeons, the sun, the rainwater that would collect. Then the screen and the way that the dust would float onto the top of the toilet.

The pigeons have somehow decided not to come here anymore perhaps due to my insistent scare tactics. But the screen is there. So I look at the screen all time. Its rust telling me to do something about.

I finally did something. Last night, I looked up how to remove rust from the screen. So in the morning after finishing a routine of checking email, I pulled the window screen away and rinsed it in the deep kitchen sink. I took a scrap towel and doused it in white vinegar with my bare hands. Then I dumped it into the bathtub filled with water and baking soda. I tipped initially a third of a cup of baking soda. Then a fourth from my handy huge bag of baking soda in bulk from Costco. There the screen sat for over an hour, spreading the smell of iron throughout the apartment.

Then I returned from an old toothbrush to brush the excess. Could it be clean? Could it? I scrubbed and the toothbrush tore into the screen. A hole now. For some reason, before all of this started, I thought: wouldn’t it be easier to buy another one? A shiny one?

But no, must use our old parts.

And my mind wished for a reason to replacement.

I stared at that broken hole with the toothbrush in my right hand and I pondered. Did my wish get granted? Was it destined? Was it everything that I wanted?