Friday, October 04, 2013



            The table in my breakfast nook appears a bit narrow, if you look at it from the bed. But if you look at it from the stove it is perfect. Just above the threshold of the table is the window (when you look at it from the stove). This window looks like a picture frame; within its moulding we have public housing, the Hollywood Hills, and a towering shiny building, a monolith within a meadow of strip malls. This building is like a mirror with an overlayed grid. In it I can see a perfectly symmetrical reflection of the skyline. (“Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.”) Black lines going up and down, crossing one another, as if the skyline were drawn on a child’s graph paper.
            They do say this building is haunted, which is quite poignant to find out during my current phase, in which I’m exploring an odd fascination with ghosts. Tonight will be the first night I sleep alone in an apartment that is entirely mine. I can hear the man next door cough and it sounds like he is in my kitchen; perhaps he is a ghost. Funnily I do not mind.


            A man with no teeth knocks on my door. “Did you leave me this note?” he says, or, rather, “did you leave me thith note?” I say yes, I had. I’m sorry, I don’t want to be controlling. It’s just that sometimes the TV is quite loud. “After midnight, I try to be respectful. I understand.”
            His face grows solemn, and he looks at his feet. His hair is very white like silver platinum and his skin is very black like old wood. “You see, at night, I watch these…” he hesitates. “Movies.” I squirm a bit. “Horror movies.” Alert off. “It will sound really quiet for a while, and then, BOOM! Someone screams!”
            Yes, that is the thing about horror movies, I agree, sweetly (to act sweetly is a very complex feminine choice in the presence of strangers). “So. Here’s the thing. I try to keep it down but if it’s loud, YOU CALL ME.” He hands me a crumpled (why is it crumpled?) sticky note with many numbers. Scribbled apartment number, scratched and sketched phone number, all numbers are different sizes and there is no indication that one reads from left to right or right to left.
            Oh ok thank you. Again the sweet smile. He lends a toothless one.

Three days ago I knocked on his door when he was clearly home, and no answer. As I stood awkwardly in the hall in my bathrobe a woman my age pranced. “Do you know him?” No, his TV is really loud and I’m going to ask him to keep it down. “Oh. He’s really creepy, he talks to himself and he orders takeout all the time. He never leaves.” I thought of risks, causes, effects. Thanks for telling me, what is your name? “I’m Megan!” She said it as if we were going to be friends. Thanks for the heads up, maybe I will leave a note instead, just to be safe.