After construction at the gate finally finished, the campus seemed like a scale model. Carbon copy street lamps and newly planted trees stood straighter than soldiers as the road stretched across the campus. We were plastic figurines, all features obscured, travelling about. Used to the root-lifted pavements, we tripped on our feet on the flat brick floor.
Our house was on the corner of the intersection, fenced off by a hedge that was not there in the preview video from ten years ago. The house itself was built 98 years ago and has undergone renovation a number of times to attract students. In this run-down neighborhood a distance from campus, it took a lot more to do so. We chose this house at the intersection but some still called it the “ghetto house”.
A European fountain sat in a corner of the yard but it never had water. The renovators left it untouched. They came one morning without warning to repaint the house and re-landscape the yard. We’ll just be working on the outside, they told us. Don’t mind us.
And at the end of the day they were gone, but the house had a blinding new coat.