Friday, May 08, 2009

Apartment 108

Randy is 28. He lives in apartment 108. His building is small, enough. The other residents only know his name from the mailboxes out front. His is the only one with both a first and last name. The tag is also not centered like the rest of the tags. The color is worn. It has been like that for 10 months.

Every Thursday Randy takes a late lunch. He walks around the corner from his office to his favorite pupuseria. It not his favorite for the food, the food was fine. It is his favorite because it is the closest place by his office to get the new issue of L.A.WEEKLY. He brings back whatever random thing he orders to his office and opens the L.A. WEEKLY. He goes straight to the personal ads and spends the rest of his time at work on the phone with various agencies, working out the specifics of his reservations. It is the same every week.

Friday night he gets home at 6:05. Every week, 6:05. He takes two side streets and rolls one stop sign to pull into his space at the same time. Randy carries his lunch bag and avoids contact with any neighbors that might be out.

Thursday is the only day he doesn’t bring his lunch to work.

6:25, his phone rings. “Randy?” “Yeah, let me buzz you in”.

There are two quick knocks on apartment 108. Randy lets the young women in. Her hair is long, a couple of inches below her bra strap, or where it would be, and dark. Usually he likes it longer, but this will work. He locks the door behind her, which startles the woman, but she sees the money sitting on the coffee table. Her quick counts makes out a few bills adding up to 275 dollars, a little more than what was agreed, and that makes her slightly more comfortable.

Randy leads her to the bedroom. The bed is made, the floor is clean, there are a couple framed posters hanging on the wall and one picture on the nightstand, Randy and a women with dark hair.

The conversation is short and specific. “I must have music playing”, “Your hands must be here”, “Please be quiet” and “Please don’t smile”. She follows every order, though typically that is not her specialty.

Randy pushes play on tape deck. The first song starts slow. Kick drum, then cymbals, then some bass. Funky, but not funky enough. Randy stands behind the women and spends a very short time exploring her body. The songs keep playing, he doesn’t say a word, and neither does she. Each song is getting louder, each song is picking up pace, but Randy’s mood does not change. The seventh song, she’s been counting, slows dramatically. This doesn’t affect him at all. The last song fades out and Randy gets off of the bed. He slides open closet door, puts on a yellow robe, and gives the women a twenty-dollar bill. “The rest is on the coffee table in the living room. Thank you.”

The woman says nothing. She gets off of the bed and starts to put her clothes on. She looks at Randy, but he is in the bathroom and has just turned the shower on. She finishes getting dressed and grabs her money as she leaves apartment 108.

Randy takes off his yellow robe and steps into the shower. He faces the showerhead and puts his head down, letting the water stream down his face. He holds his hands around his eyes, making a scuba mask, the way she showed him that day in the hills. A few tears mix with the water. He turns around and tries to finish his shower. He can’t. It has been 10 months.


Anonymous said...

You and ImPerceptible are the tortoises of blogging. You started out all unassuming-like and now two years later your blogs are still interesting, in fact even more interesting to read.

First reading I thought it was 'he tries to finish IN the shower' which is even sadder.

Amelia (a Rabbit).

Anonymous said...

Awesomer post!