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One night two years ago, a dozen people congregated in this stairwell. We curled up under blankets, two to a step, feet stuffed into wool socks and winter boots. Braver students than I climbed over the railing to perch on a narrow concrete ledge, suspended ten feet over the ground. Sneaks swung back and forth, and disembodied cigarettes hovered over us like fireflies. The floodlight was burned out that night. Today, there isn’t much evidence of us, the hall everyone loved to hate, just faded teal spray-paint from the day I decided all my furniture should match the blue of my bed sheets. Someone has used copper paint since then, burnished the cold grey concrete, covering my teal. The paintings on the brick wall are new — thick, black paint strokes outlining the bodies of six men, arms clasped together, straining in opposite directions on the stairs. The paint has dripped down the wall and crash-landed in small dark spots on the steps below. On the landing, there’s a poem stenciled in black. We never moved when I was a kid, but if we had, I think it would be like this — an empty stairwell, an untethered former resident, and the people I know gone. #weeklyassignment

A post shared by ☆ 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗮 𝗚. 𝗗𝗼𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘆☆ (@mgdoherty) on

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