A Story of Microsuites, and Atrophy

Let me give you a view into the hellworld of “microsuites”. This shit is becoming more and more prevalent and it’s so incredibly cursed. Picture this: You come home to your apartment building. You walk up five flights of stairs to the top-floor of your building with no elevator. On the way you pass the communal kitchen on the second floor. You walk in your front door. You’ve got like 200 square feet of living space: there’s a bathroom with a shower, a sink, a mini-fridge, a microwave. The place came with internet, you didn’t have to pay for that. You’ve got a ladder up to a loft with your pre-furnished full-mattress bed. Before bed it’s time to cook up a nice pot of- wait, aren’t we missing something?

Yeah you remember the communal kitchen? That’s where the stove is. The only stove. Pretty great for the person that lives on floor two, but we hope you like carrying ingredients downstairs to cook if you’re up on floor five. Oh, and your pots and pans too. The kitchen had those pre-furnished once, until the pandemic. At least it’s cleaned weekly by a cleaning crew.

Oh well, at least there’s a microwave, and you bought your own toaster oven too! A mini-pizza it is then. You set the toaster oven to pre-heat and oh good the power’s out. You see, your microsuite only has two 15amp circuits. One of them supplies the microwave, fridge, and sink outlet. The other one powers the entire rest of the unit. And, unfortunately for you, there’s no space on sink-counter for a toaster oven, so guess which one that’s plugged into? Maybe remember to turn off your air-conditioner next time before you make a pizza, fucko.

No big deal though right? Just flip the breaker! Yeah, guess where that is? All the way at the bottom of the five flights of stairs. Flip-flip, power back on, all the way back up. You put on a cooking video and dream of a world where you too could cook something, anything really, on a stove. The induction burner you bought sits in a bin beside you. You gave up on that idea long ago, with no space to prepare ingredients or store cookware. No stove vent either, and the fire alarm can be a bit temperamental.

After dinner you climb up the ladder to your barely-serviceable bed. Your joints ache. You wonder why your past self decided this was a good place to stay- ah yes, budget. It’s certainly cheaper than the normal studios across the street. Location, location, location, right? Surely it’s worth it. You spend most of your time out and about on the town after all! Well, perhaps some version of you did. Not these days.

We lived there for three long years, ignoring our body’s complaints, convincing ourselves we could make it work if we were just a bit more creative, just a bit more tenacious. We aren’t sure why. Our body finally gave up on waiting for us to make the right decision and made things quite clear: move or perish. It wouldn’t have even been a choice, if not for having friends to help.

Take care of yourselves.