Environmental Portrait 1

  In a Tumblr Bedroom and A Rented Apartment

The black boots were kicked off and the espresso pot was put on the stove. The black boots sat in the closet with its many friends, mostly black as to match her black outfit. I was surprised to see that she hadn’t worn her usual Dr. Martens that day. The espresso boiling, but am told that it is not done. In the kitchen where the coffee boiled was a sink turned yellow, presumably by the roommate/chef, maybe having made curry the night before. He did not clean much after cooking, and their paths rarely cross, he works at night, and she goes to school during the day. The kitchen was right next to her white bedroom, a contrast to her clothes and shoes which almost all black. There were four pictures on the wall by the bed, each had a different city written on the bottom, I remember one distinctly saying Lyon. In the pictures were people smiling, having fun out. The bed had a white duvet that was sprawled across it reflecting the light shining in from the window. There were two closets in the bedroom, one hers, the other contained the owners left behind clothes. He had left a lot behind for his renters to watch over. Across from the bed sat a few little cacti against the white wall with fairy lights pinned to it in a tasteful bunch.


In the living room that sat between her and her roommates bed there were two muted dark purple couches with yellow, green, and red pillows, all in bad shades, and not matching to her minimal taste. Sitting in the living room there was only the occasional faint murmurings of French from the calm street that sat beneath us. On the wall next to where the windows were, and where we sat, were crowded bookshelves with a Dali clock hanging off and a TV below. These books were left behind by the owner, however, led me to Milk and Honey that she would read with her coffee, having to pause occasionally to absorb the pain in the poems. These poems were not idealistic and confusing to interpret, however they were honest about human experience. A good chunk of her life thus far was spent in a small German farming town, though you would never guess it. This town cultivated a sense of idealism of a utopic society of peace in her older sister. This they did not share believing that society is set in our ways, nonetheless she was not deterred from wanting to impact change for the better. Fashion/art was her loophole to pursue this with creativity, discussing her passion for fair wages, good labour conditions, and environmental friendliness.


Whilst staring at the one gray pillow in the middle of the couch across from us, she speaks about her ipod. It was funny to hear one of her prized possession was an old dark grey ipod from the early 2000’s, but it held every phase she had drifted through on her way to who she is and will be. It held the music she listened to while realising Capoeira wasn’t for her, the music from her time in Hamburger, the village, Provence, and now Paris. This music may be the way she calms herself down on a crowded metro, or broods in a mood.


Her moods include stubborn, frustrated, akward or a social butterfly. This she relays to me without self-consciousness while the light flooded in behind her hitting the old, boarded up fireplace This fireplace only accentuated the Tumblr, minimalist, Parisien feeling of her home, though she did not plan to have it. The Parisian vibe it all was fitting since she much preferred Paris to London, where she had applied to many colleges prior to choosing Parsons. London didn’t contain the same classic sophistication of Parisian buildings. One of the London schools was brought up on her phone to show the beautiful aesthetic of its all white classrooms and modern buildings. Once again it matched her perfectly minus the students in the pictures who were dressed in colorful clothes.


As the interview came to a close we once again found ourselves on the topic of politics, a topic that she had learned is not proper to talk about in France. She expressed fear in her voice and expression for her home country of Germany. Fascism had come back like a reworked fashion trend only slightly changed from its form 20 years ago. This time it is against refugees in Germany, whom the news only reported on when one of the thousands had done something awful. She may not be as idealistic as her sister, however she wasn’t about to support or sit quietly and watch society go back in time.


Through art she was ready to pursue politics in her all black uniform, Dr. Martens, and red lipstick.


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