The Iron Curtain

Larry’s girlfriend, Paula, was coming to the Farm. He had been couch surfing in George’s dining room for the past month waiting for her, and figured that sleeping on a public sofa would not satisfy her comforts as a woman, or his needs as a man. As luck would have it, an eviction had just taken place in one of the off-grid cabins, leaving a vacancy that Larry put first dibs on, hoping Paula would be pleasantly surprised.

One of the Farm’s residents was commissioned to clean up the cabin for Larry and his lady. This time, it turned out to be an easy job. Unlike previous evictions, the place wasn’t left a methed-out trash heap, and only one trip to the dump was needed to remove the eight hundred soup cans that had been discarded in the cabin’s outhouse. Inside, the accumulation of dust and detritus was simply swept into the wide cracks between the rough floorboards. The nicest mattress was plucked from the collection on George’s front porch and hauled up into the loft, where it was made up with clean sheets. While the cabin wasn’t fancy, it was relatively cozy and generally fit for human habitation, and a fresh bouquet of wildflowers was left in a vase on the table to welcome the couple to their new home.

When Paula arrived the following evening, she turned out not to be quite the easygoing country gal that Larry had described her to be. After taking one look at the rough log walls with cracks of light peeking through, a mouse scurrying across the ceiling beam, the rickety ladder leading up to the sleeping loft, and the lack of a flushing toilet with a heated seat, she said “Well, I’ll be!”, which was to be interpreted as “Hell no!”

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