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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Devil You Know Part 16


The bell tinkles as the door swings closed behind me. At the counter is a punky looking boy with jet black hair and a black and white stripped t-shirt. He is reading a newspaper that is opened and in front of him. He doesn’t respond or look up to the sound of the bell but yells out “Let me know if you need help with something.”

The store has that overpowering smell of antique and used clothing. I walk past a rolling rack of old furs and hats and make a beeline for the guy at the counter. “Hello,” I say standing directly in front of him. Quickly I  blurt out “Do you buy antique clothing or do people donate the clothes to you?” 

He places his finger on the paper to hold his place in the story he is reading and looks up. “You got something to sell?” he asks raising one eyebrow. “No, but I’m interested in the smoking jackets in the front window.” “Yeah, there nice aren’t they?” he says returning to his place in the paper. “Where did you get them?” I ask and his finger returns to the paper and he looks up. “Dunno,” he says and returns to reading. “Are you the manager?” I ask. His finger returns to the paper, he looks up this time clearly annoyed. “Nope.” He says and returns to reading. “Will the manager be here soon?” I ask. This time he doesn’t look up. “Is there something you need help with?” he asks. I blurt out my whole story.

“My roommate and I went our separate ways and he told me that he threw out all my clothes and now I see my smoking jackets hanging in your window.” He now pauses and looks up at me. “Do you have a receipt that says they are yours?” “I do not.” I respond. He sighs; clearly over my line of questioning “Well the manager will be here in about three hours, you can stop back in here then.” “I have to warn you though, she will ask you the same question.”

It is clear that I am chasing my own tail and I need to let it go.

“Ok thanks,” I say turning on my heel, I head towards the door. “Uh-huh,” is his response. “Let it go,” I say as I walk back onto the street “Let it go.” The bell tingles as the door shuts behind me.

Time passes with David and it’s clear that Anne and I have nothing but contempt for each other. She goes out of her way to constantly tell David how much she doesn’t like me and doesn’t trust me, after awhile it starts to add pressure and stress to our relationship. David and I discuss my moving out and finding a new apartment. That way we can work on us. David never seems to be able to tell me why Anne is so important to him. She brings nothing to the table that I can see. David lost his mother as a child and it’s the only concrete thing I can get out of him when talking about Anne. My feeling is that Anne is a big girl and she should move out.

Kim at The Half moon Café tells me that I should live with her. Her apartment is six bedrooms, a full kitchen, full bath, dining room and a living room. She and I can share her room, its big enough for two, so after work, I decide to stop by and take a look.

The apartment is located half way up the block on Dana and close to Lark Street. It is a two floor house, Kim and her roommates have the top floor and someone named Ingrid owns the bottom floor with her three children. Kim’s apartment is huge but she asks me to be quiet because her roommates are all sleeping. “They work at The 8 Balls Saloon on Western Avenue.”

8 Balls as it is affectionately known is a seedy gay bar where you can find anything that you might need. An Evil Drag Queen named Miss Kenny holds court at the door and looks at ids.  If you are cute and flatter her, you’re in. If, you’re not or you piss her off God help you. I once saw Miss Kenny get hit in the nose with a beer bottle by a biker and Miss Kenny, face covered in blood picked up anything she could find to smash over his head after she knocked him out with a punch to the face. It took five men to pull her off after the guy was clearly out cold.

Kim gives me a whole tour of the house and I love it, I ask to use the bathroom and lock the door behind me. I look in the mirror and as I splash water on my face as a cockroach brazenly walks out of the medicine cabinet, then another and another. I look around the bathroom and there are a couple more cockroaches hanging out on the ceiling. 

I quickly leave the bathroom and find Kim in the kitchen making a grilled cheese. The smell of the melting cheese seems to bring at first a couple of cockroaches onto the counter. Kim takes the spatula and swats at them, they scatter and then return. “These fuckers are brazen, “Kim says swatting at them again. They run and return and I spot a couple running on the ceiling. “Uh, we got a roach problem,” Kim says as she places her sandwich on a plate and heads for the fridge. Several cockroaches make a run for the sandwich on the counter but after grabbing a soda Kim beats them to it.

To be continued…..

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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