the destroyer > the vent > Ben Truman


For 5 years I have occupied a one-bedroom studio apartment attached to the back of my landlord's home.

My office is in my kitchen, and my kitchen is in my bedroom.

Every morning, groggy and unshowered, I sit down at my computer desk and catch up on the latest news feed. One-click activism. I sign petitions in a blink. I share articles to raise awareness. The problems of the world are conveniently reduced to digestible sound bytes from entertaining celebrity spokesmen so that I can get back to Hulu, Netflix, YouTube.

"The world's a mess. When are people going to wake up?"

Out my window is my landlord's yard, a landscape of unfinished projects and accumulated "now-we'll-have-it-when-we-need-its.”

A sprinkler sits in the center of the patch of dead grass. It lost a fight with the landlord’s dog and doesn't rotate any longer. But each morning the digital watering timer still goes off, and the sprinkler shoots a weak arc of water into the same patch of dirt.

Day after day, the water pools and drowns the lawn. The rest of the yard, a needle bed of dried grass, dies of thirst.

"Terrible. They really need to fix that."