So I’ve mentioned the small place I’ve got over the liquor store at the corner of Bedlam & Squalor, in Fecal Creek…I usually refer to it as Hotel California. There are actually 4 apartments up here, and the other inhabitants are just weird as hell. One of the apartments is occupied by this awful charwoman that is just Part of the Deal around here. She “cleans,” which, well…let me explain. This woman has about the worst case of OCD I’ve ever had the displeasure to deal with. She puts Mexican bric-a-brac on every available flat surface. It’s ludicrous. But then, when she “cleans,” especially in the kitchen, her prime directive, indeed her only directive, seems to be “out of sight, out of mind.” Anything that has been left on any counter top, stove top, or basin area is immediately seized and shoved into the nearest drawer cabinet or “unvisible” space there is. Unless, of course, she happens to get in any way distracted between the time she picks up a given object and the time she places it in an “unvisible” area, and then God only knows what will happen. Oh, and ovens and dishwashers are considered valid storage areas. Yeah. So I have learned to pull all the shit out of the oven before preheating it. I have opened the microwave to find foil wrapped mysteries or metallic silverware hiding in there. Meals have been delayed hours because I could not find my cast iron skillet anywhere, and it was only when someone incidentally went into the laundry room and found that the skillet had inexplicably placed in there, on top of the dryer could dinner proceed.
We’ve had our problems, she and I. For a while, I could hear her prowling around outside my door anytime I was on the phone, presumably trying to listen to my conversations for her own dark and perverse reasons. To put a stop to this, I started giving fake and rather malignant tech advice to “friends” on the phone. One time when I suspected she was listening, I told my friend of my new time-saving trick: placing your cell phone in the microwave for 65 seconds will fully charge the battery. Twenty-four hours later she had a new phone and was awaiting delivery of a new microwave.
And but so anyway this morning I was awoken by ridiculous bangings in the bathroom next to my place, which bathroom this beazy has apparently elected to paint today.
Usually she hires shady and swarthy gentlemen of extremely dubious Visa status from the parking lot of Home Depot for such things. But not today, thank Christ. For these smaller projects, she has a couple glasses of breakfast wine and channels Frida Khalo and paints it herself. But super slowly and carefully, as if painting a portrait. It is horrible to watch, and inspires visions of strangulation in the wine-dark psyche of your humble narrator. But once she gets bored and starts getting really drunk, she hurries to get it done and sloshes paint everywhere, adding several hours of clean-up time to the entire nightmare.
All of that nonsense disrupted any sense of rhythm I’d hoped to achieve today.
How was your day?
N.P.: “Strange Machines” – The Gathering