Saturday, June 19, 2010

Serial (Finally)

The apartment building was a dump. The carpet was older than I was, worn through in spots, with stains I didn't want to contemplate. She even had to avoid a couple of soft spots in the floor. I hoped that wasn't the sound of rodents I was hearing in the walls, but it wouldn't have surprised me. I could hear sounds from almost every apartment, the walls were simply that thin.

She carried me up three flights of stairs before she reached her goal, a paper-thin door with peeling pale-green paint the worn metal numbers reading 302. She kicked gently at the bottom of the door and shouted "Carrie, let me in. My arms are full."

There was some grumbling from inside and the door was jerked open by a rumpled looking female, her eyes half-lidded from sleep.

"Jen? You got a computer?!" Her eyes came fully open, her voice ringing out loud and clear.

"SHHHHHH! You don't need to shout it out to the neighborhood. Do you want us to get robbed?" My new owner shoved past her irritably, making her way to the kitchen. She set my box on the table and rummaged a set of keys out of her pocked. She selected the newest, still bright and shiny, and slid it into an equally new deadbolt installed in the first door in the hall outside the kitchen. "Is Ryan still out of town?" She opened the door, revealing a clean, but spartan bedroom. Propping the door open with the nearest book (there were a lot of them) she came back to retrieve me.

"He's back. He went to the liquor store. I should probably warn you, he's pissed about the deadbolt. Said, 'What? She thinks we're going to steal her goddamned books? Like that's gonna happen.'"

She leaned against the doorframe, watching as Jen began unloading my component parts and setting them up on the desk she'd created using an old wooden door and some cinderblocks. She'd cleverly filled the knob hole with a plastic drinking glass to use as a pencil cup. More bricks and boards had created the shelves that lined one whole wall---shelves filled with worn books and magazines from the classics to tabloids. It was all neat. All organized, and completely alien to the rest of the apartment.

"It's not the books." Jen answered tersely. Her expression was closed off, her eyes dark and angry.

Carrie sighed. "I can't believe you're still pissed about that. Nothing happened. He was high as a kite." There was a long pause. "He even apologized." She made that sound like a miracle. Apparently Ryan never apologized for anything. And he hated books. Maybe I was being judgmental, but I was beginning to really dislike the guy, and I hadn't even met him.

"Don't tell him about the computer." Jen said seriously. "I got it at the junk shop. It's old. He wouldn't be able to get any money for it. But he'd give me shit about it. You know he would."

Carrie pulled away from the doorframe and shambled toward the sofa without answering.

"I mean it Carrie. Promise me you won't tell. It'll just cause trouble."

Carrie sank onto the couch, curling up under a bunch of none-too-clean looking blankets. I heard her mumble something unintelligible, but I was betting it wasn't a promise.


Tammy said...

Me not like Ryan already either.

Good job!

Suzette said...

Plus he doesnt like books, Tammy! Hate him