It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. I was resting on the couch after a long day of work. My sister sent me a text.
“Can you pick up your sister at 6?”
I closed my eyes again. I wasn’t feeling that great. I had another episode of my attacks. My heart raced, my breathing was heavy and I was having a tough time focusing. As soon as I closed my eyes, I heard ruckus from outside. I am well adjusted to the noise and chaos that come with living in this peaceful neighborhood. But this time it was different. Could something be afoot? Could there be some real danger that I am not aware of? Has Claudia escaped?
I checked the wall and it was good. She was still inside. Still, the noise outside went on. It grew louder and more foul. I like to be aware of my surroundings. I am not saying I care about my neighbors. Really, I don’t. I mean one neighbor cannot figure out the workings of a washer and dryer and the other is a bi-lingual man who likes to think I am a nuisance to him and his two young hell hounds.
Mr. Bi-lingual or as I like to call him, Carlos, was outside one day with his children playing a game. I don’t know what game. It involved counting. So I am guessing hide and seek. Anyways, I hear his children laughing and playing about. He said something in Spanish that I didn’t understand. The only phrase I know in Spanish is, “¿Dónde está el comida?” As I sat at my computer, he started to count backwards from ten,
“diez, nueve, ocho, siete, seis, cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno…”
then, he says in English, “ready or not, here I come!”
I guess it was a ‘you had to be there kind of thing” So, where was I? Oh, yeah. The noise. I go outside for a smoke. I can hear two woman cursing about. Obscenities are flying out of their mouth. Andrew Dice Clay had nothing on this ladies. Rub a dub dub, OH!
One lady, spotted me. She was probably early twenties. She looks normal. If normal people has needle marks and a needle sticking out of their arm, then she is as normal as any 12th and prospect lady can be. She starts walking towards me. Her mother or sister, or whatever the other lady is, is away. She is out back looking for someone with a phone. Needle Nancy throws up gang signs and crunks her way towards me. “Yo! (no lie. She really said, yo.) Youz gots a phone I can use?
“All I have is my cell.”
“Youz got a phone?”
“Hey, Tramp Stamp! The neighbor kid has a phone!”
I was pretty offended when she called me a kid. But whatever, yo. Tramp Stamp comes stampeding from around the bend. She looked pretty upset. I would be too if I was caught in the outfit she had on. She had on these tattered gray shorts, a top that I think was probably bought at baby gap, and one sock. A sock with a hole in it. Her pinky toe was ugly. Pink nail polish. Not hot.
So Needle Nancy and Tramp Stamp come to me. Out come the water works. “Oh, my god! Oh, my god! I need to use your phone!”
I hand her my phone. I ask if she was okay. Damn me for being a caring person. “He tried to kill me! He [censored] tried to kill me!”
Whoa. Wow. Are you effin’ serious? Maybe I better not let you use my phone.
She is standing outside door and I am standing in my apartment. “He wanted to have sex and I was all, no. So he shoved me!” She paused.
She makes her way into my apartment. She takes a seat on my couch. Guess I won’t be needing that couch anymore. Way to go, Tramp Stamp. She is still crying. She is a bit incoherent. I can’t make out much of what she is saying. She dials 9-1-1 and then looks puzzled. “I don’t think I dialed right.”
She hands me the phone and I look at it. The call is connected to 9-1-1. I put it to my ear.
“9-1-1 emergency. please state the nature of this call.”
Hey, Tramp Stamp. It’s the law. It’s for you.
TO BE CONTINUED…