The Dweller by Elaine Dillof


I live in an apartment in the twenty-fifth floor of
a building that overlooks the Hudson River. The
apartment has floor to ceiling windows and I idle
away time gazing out at the water and sky. I can
see the rooftops of several modern glass and steel
buildings. They strike me as having a clean-shaven,
starched, staid look. However, one building with
three antennas makes me think of three hairs standing
upright on an otherwise bald head. Another building,
still under construction, appears to be wearing a
headband. Actually it’s an orange plastic net that’s
been placed along the edges of a roof. A row of
narrow pipes behind the net suggest feathers tucked
into the headband. But the most arresting sight is
a crane lying flat across the top of a building. I
see it as resembling an ancient Egyptian boat ( think 
Cleopatra) that has been stranded and marooned on a
precipice. There are moments, at dusk, when I view my-
self as someone left high and dry on a cliff.


Landing 1
Mrs. Passerelli’s tomato sauce
simmering on the stove.
Her radio is always on.

Landing 2
The Israeli couple. There’s a daughter
my age, but I don’t know her.
We’ve never spoken.

Landing 3
Etty Kaushner’s perfume, called
Taboo, a present from her boss.
He’s married. 

Landing 4
On a medium flame, chocolate pudding
stirred and turning thick. My turn
to lick the spoon and scrape the pot.

About the contributor

After 45 years in the antique business Elaine Dillof, retired, has returned to an early love, writing.

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