Sunday, September 28, 2008

Coworkers: Part 11 - Moving Day‏


   Coworkers were prolific relocaters. Reasons were endless. Trivial. Major. Who cared?
   They had gotten evicted.  New place was $5.00 a month cheaper.  Neighbors were loud  --  stalkers  --  creepy  --   naked.  New place had a pool, yay!  Old place had a pool, yuk!  Damn dogs.  Place was freezing / burning up.  Owe the landlord / landlady back rent or "favors."  Cockroaches won war.  Rats ate the dog.  Waterbed flooded bedroom.  Ex just got released.  Druggies upstairs.  Shootings.  Neighbors have brats.  Kinfolk moved in.  What is that smell?  Plumbing disaster.  Neighbor bought new home theater unit.  Parking issues.  Burglars.  Neighbors dance  --  pray  --  fight  --  breed.  Overhead light showers sparks, fun!  Next door barbeque smoked my unit.  Idiot next door only plays ONE album!  Neighbor is musician / artist / writer (whatever, they're all fucking deadbeats).
   The crew moved so much, nobody took much notice. I didn't move, but I could relate. I bought a condemned house and was forever repairing something. My neighborhood wasn't quiet, either.
   The notice above had been posted by Dave. Moving from the Near Southside to Mid Cities. Coincided with my day off. I said I'd join the gang.
   Three days later, just Dave and me. Everyone else, well, they didn't take much notice. Even his girlfriend and sister dodged the grunt work.
   Soon as we loaded the truck and arrived at the new unit, I began to have doubts.
   The place was much smaller.
   Wait a second.
   The complex itself was gigantic. One of those faceless, depressing megalo-monoliths. Resembled a brick cliff, from where any reasonable soul would hurl themselves off within six months. Probably slapped together ten years ago or earlier. The rooms were prison cell sized. Sheetrock thin as a saltine, one lick of paint, and carpet with bare patches already. The next door neighbor was watching television. Loud TV. Dave was moving in with two females. Sister and girlfriend. There would be zero privacy. No way that was going to work. This apartment screamed confinement. Knifing. Murder.
   I feared for Dave. Oblivious with his computers and audio gear. Missing those feminine signals that two women were going completely insane.
   Still, I said nothing. Carried boxes into the truck, shoved them in place, drove. Heaved cartons into the new dump. Sigh. Repeat.
   Pizza for lunch. Three or four whole ones. Either Dave had expected an army or he didn't realize I had eating issues.
   We're sitting there, too tired to make much conversation aside from cult movies, when this slip of paper was shoved under the front door, danced in the air, then settled down. The first mail! Dave walks over to examine the what might be a welcome party.

Two more rapes were reported last night. In the 100 and 300 sections.
Apartments had been forced open .... blah blah blah ...
There have now been seven reported rapes during the past six months.
Any information leading to the arrest or conviction will ...

   "What the hell?" I muttered. "This is fucking Rape City. You wanna start reloading the truck?"
   Dave just stared at the note.
   "No woman on the planet is going to stay here," I continued.
   "We already paid first and last," he muttered. "Plus the cleaning fee. And someone's moving into our old place in three days."
   You are so screwed, I thought.
   "Just deciding what I ought to do about this note," he said softly.
   "Dude, they see that notice, they'll never be able to sleep here. Might want to throw it away."
   Terrible advice, if I do say so myself.
   "Yeah, I was kinda thinking that."
   "Of course, if they find out about the alert, then find out you hid the note ... you are dead meat."
   "Yeah ... " Dave's voice trailed away.
   Couple of months later, Todd was moving. I said I'd help, then something came up and I couldn't.
   Dave still resided at Sex-Pound Apartments.
   Don't know whether he advised the ladies or not. He had given notice from Camp Bowie and begun the ladder climb.

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