She stands in the kitchen, the picture of an upper-middle class (maybe just upper class) put-together adult. Hair perfectly straight. Un-scuffed boots. Clothes that really match. Purse over one shoulder. Sunglasses pulled back on top of her head.

We stand in front of the bedroom window looking out at the redwood tree in old jeans and sweaty shirts. My shoes are still covered in trail dust.

The apartment’s not big. We can hear everything she says from in here.

“So the washer dryer is downstairs?”
“Yes, it’s shared with one other unit.”
“Has anyone in the building tried bringing them into their apartments? Set up the plumbing and ventilation and all that?”
“No, not that I know of. I’m sure it’s possible, but- .”
“I’m so spoiled now, I have to have one in the unit. Laundry is such a pain, I don’t think I could handle having it all the way downstairs. This is the top floor?”
“Oh good. I lived in a first floor place once, it was awful. I’m definitely looking for a top floor unit.”

While she’s busy opening and closing cabinet drawers, we pass behind her, down the back steps, and out into the street through the tradesman’s door.

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