TOE Short Story :: Rise and Fall


by Michael Davidson

Security guard in parking lot

I hope Dana didn’t think I was being too – how do you say? – intrusive.  I mean, I just think she would be a good woman to have on the cover of my next CD, you know, she has a good enough face and body so that her picture would attract a lot of attention to my new release and get people to buy it.

God, what am I saying?  The truth is that she should be honored that I asked her to do this for me.  I mean, it’s not like I asked her to pose topless or anything, right?  Well, maybe Dana doesn’t feel so honored yet since she hasn’t heard what my music sounds like, but I gave her my latest CD just now.  Once she pops that into her radio she’ll know the talent she’s dealing with. I’m The Legend.

Apt. 119

The pasta is cooking.  Usually I stand over the pot and watch it boil, but not this time.  The apartment is empty of noise, empty of people.  Only one light is on, the light I’m using.  I’m writing under this light.  Outside it’s dark.  Cars are passing, their tires making laser-streak sounds.

Apt. 219

Ah, yes, I love watching television.  Mike doesn’t like it so much though.  He’d prefer to sleep, read, or make love.  I think it’s in that order, too.  But me, I like watching television before falling asleep.  Mike always tells me to turn down the volume.  I don’t know why he tells me to do this.  He has no right to since it’s my damn television, I bought it with my own damn money, but still I do him the favor and turn it down.  Not because I’m submissive, but because I’m kind.

Apt. 319

Shit, I have a big dog.  He’s taking up my whole damn bed, but I don’t complain.  He’s been a good dog so far.  Hey, funny I haven’t named him yet even though I’ve had him for a coupla days.  You know, I don’t think there’s really any use in naming him though because when I want to get his attention I just look into his eyes and whistle or clap and he wags his tail and nods his head up and down and walks on over to me just fine.

Wait a sec, what’s that smell.  Yep, that’s definitely a fart, but it wasn’t me.  Oh shit, the dog did it!  Damn that stinks.

Apt. 419

-But I didn’t sleep with her!
-You didn’t, huh?  Well, I don’t believe you.
-Jesus, Vicky, what do I have to do to make you believe me?
-How `bout showing me some lovin’ for starters.  Also, I’d like to know where the hell you go off in the middle of the night for Christ’s sake.
-Nowhere, and I’ll prove it to you:  It’s the middle of the night right now and look where I am – right here with you!
-You sound like I should be grateful for that.
-Look, I promise that I didn’t sleep with her, Vicky.  You have to believe me.  I’ve been interviewing her for my job and she’s only free on weeknights, that’s all.
-Whatever.  Are you attracted to me anymore?
-What kind of question is that?  Of course I’m attracted to you.
-Then why are we talking instead of fucking?
-Beats me.

Apt. 519

Where are my teeth?  I need to eat some chocolate before I go to bed.  I know I put them on my nightstand, but where are they now?  God I’m getting old.  I miss Harry.  He’d know where my teeth are, I know he would.  He always knew where I put my teeth.  I remember one time I left them under my pillow, only God knows how they got there, and he found them for me as if it weren’t strange that they were there in the first place.  And another time they were in the refrigerator, right next to my box of chocolates. Lord knows what they were doing in there.  Surely I didn’t take them out to eat my chocolates, then how would I chew?  Still, Harry found them for me.  He simply went straight to the refrigerator, opened the door, and came back to the bedroom with my teeth.  Bless his heart.

Apt. 619

-L-A-Z-E, laze
-What! That’s not a word.
-Sure it is.
-I don’t believe you.
-You want to challenge me then?
-Laze? What does it mean?
-Like `he sat in a laze.’  You know, it’s like a weird funk, sort of like daze except with some laziness added to it.
-I still don’t believe you.
-Then challenge me.
-No, forget it.  How much is it?
-Well, I got a triple-word score, and a double letter, too.  So 14 times 3 is… 42.
-42!  Damn, that better be a word.
-It is, I promise.

Apt. 719

(Ringing telephone.)

-Hi, it’s me, could you buzz open the gate?
-All right, baby.

(Fifteen minutes later.)

-Hey Dana, sorry if I woke you.
-No baby, it’s no problem, you know I get home from work `round this time.  I was just watching some television.
-Really?  I don’t hear anything.
-That’s `cuz I have the volume down low.  Hey, what took you so long to get here?  It’s not like I live that far away from guest parking or anything.
-Yeah, I figured you’d be asking that.  I ran into your security guard driving around in his golf cart – it always cracks me up when I see him roving the prop.
-Well, I stopped and talked with him for a little while.  Then I remembered that I had some beer in the trunk, and, you know how I’ve always thought that he looks so lonely out there waving at every resident as they pass by him in their car, so I offered him a bottle in return for a ride around the premises on his golf cart.
-Really!  Did he give one?
-Sure he did.  And you should’ve heard all the funny stories he has about some of the residents in this building.  That guy’s pretty cool, you know.
-I don’t know about that.  I think he’s a little strange.  Before I came in tonight he drove up alongside me in the parking lot and asked if… you will never guess.
-He asked me if I wanted to be on the cover of his new CD.
-What!  Your security guard’s a musician.
-It’s news to me, too.  He said I have a face that’s naturally photogenic.
-Then he gave me one of his CDs for free to listen to and told me that if I respected the music, which he was sure I would, then maybe I would actually want to be on his next cover.
-Wow, you’re a model now.
-Hardly.  So, why did you decide to show up tonight?  This is a surprise.

(Silence. Sudden change of mood.)

-Oh well, look, I’m sorry to, uh, have bothered you so late, Dana, but I really feel like we need to talk.
-Uh-oh, this sounds serious.
-It is.
-Well, what is it?
-I’ve been thinking a lot about us, and, well, I think we need some time apart.
-Time apart?
-Um okay, if that’s what you want, baby.
-You’re fine about it then?
– Do you at least want to know why?
-No, not really.  I know you have your reasons, all men do.
-You sure you’re fine about this?
-Yeah, of course.
-Okay. Well uh, I’ll see you later then?

(Dana closes door softly, goes back into bedroom, and turns up volume on television. Then she cries, and, in between each sob, curses his name.)

Apt. 619

-C-R-O-C, croc
-Croc?  That’s not a word.
-Sure it is.  You know, like short for crocodile.
-Well, I don’t think it’s a word, but I’ll let you have it since you let me have laze.
-Ah-hah!  So laze isn’t a word.
-It is a word.
-Then why are you giving me croc?
-Because I love you.  How many did you get?
-Ugh, I can’t believe you.
-Yeah well, it’s no 42.

Apt. 519

There you are.  How did you get in there?  In my hair of all places!  I must’ve put them up there by accident.  But why in the world would I put them in my hair?  There’s no reason.  I wonder if Harry would’ve found them there.  Of course he would’ve.  He would’ve seen them in my hair and reached out and grabbed them.  Or maybe he would’ve left them there just for laughs.

He sure got a good laugh every now and then by doing stupid things like that.  Sometimes he’d pretend like he couldn’t hear and make me yell the same thing over and over again and all he’d do is scratch his ears if he didn’t hear anything at all, and I’d keep on yelling as I walked closer to him.  Then he’d look at me, and in the softest voice he’d say, ‘I hear ya, sweetheart.’  Then he’d laugh a little.

Yes, on second thought, he probably would’ve left my teeth where they were just so he could get a laugh.  He’d say, `Where could they be? I’ve checked everywhere. Do you remember where you last saw them, sweetheart?’  And I’d answer all his questions with my teeth in my hair.  Dear Lord, I’m getting old.

-Oh I miss you, Harry.  I sure do.

Apt. 419

-So let’s fuck.
-And after thinking I slept with someone else – man, you’re serious, aren’t you Vicky?
-Do you want me to answer that?  Now come on into the bedroom!  I got the candles lit for us and everything.
-Uh-huh, and I see that you’ve also changed into my favorite lingerie there, didn’t you?
-Just for you.

Damn, I’m gonna give it to her real good this time.  Sometimes I just lie there and let her do all the work, but not this time – huh-uh.  I’m gonna give it to her just how she likes it, and once she gets off she’ll forget all about that other woman.

Apt. 319

Maybe I should give him a name… yeah, I better.  Besides, what’ll I do when I walk him and someone says, ‘Nice dog. What’s his name?’  It’d seem sorta weird if I said, ‘Well, he doesn’t have one.’  But, then again, that wouldn’t be so bad if it was a hot girl asking me because then I’d have an excuse to talk with her.  But otherwise…

All right, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll give him a name, but if a hot girl asks me about him I’ll say that he doesn’t have one, and then we’ll have to talk some until I get her number.  That’s right, I’ll be the different guy with the nameless dog.  Yeah, that sounds good.  So what should I name him?  How `bout… hell, I don’t know.

Wait, I got it!  Pimp.  I’ll name him Pimp.

-What do you think about that Pimp?  Huh, Pimp?  Are you a good boy, Pimp?  Yeah, Pimp’s a good boy, isn’t he?  Pimp and I are going to go walking tomorrow around the track, aren’t we, Pimp?  You like being walked, huh, don’t you, Pimp?

Apt. 219

Maybe I’m too kind.  The only thing Mike does all day is sit on his ass while I work.  When I leave in the morning he’s sleeping.  When I come back in the evening he’s waking up from a nap.  He usually doesn’t like admitting this, but I can tell from his messed up hair and wrinkled cheeks.  Then he never fails to ask me to cook dinner.  The nerve of him.  I usually think about spitting in his face right about then, but then he acts all nice, and all I can do is be kind and cook.

Oh no, there he goes snoring again.  Man, he snores loud.  I’m gonna turn up the volume just to piss him off.  There, I hope he wakes up and can’t fall back asleep.  I wonder what he’d do then, maybe slap me.  Shit, if he did that I wouldn’t even think about spitting in his face, I’d just tell him to get out.  This is my fucking apartment, you fucking bum.  That’s what I’d say.

Wake up!  Is that loud enough for you? Wake up, you snoring bum!  I hope you can’t sleep.  I hope you have bad dreams and wake up and feel terrible because guess what… I’m not as kind as you think I am.  I can be a real bitch sometimes.  You just watch.  From now on things are going to be different around here.  No more cooking, no more keeping the volume down low, no more days spent sleeping while I work my tail off.  Things are going to be different around here starting right now I tell you.  Bum!

-Gosh honey, could you please turn that down?  Thanks.

But I’m just so damn kind.

Apt. 119

Laser-streak sounds as they roll… their tires making laser-streak sounds as they roll… and then what?  Where are the cars going after the sounds stop?  Passed my apartment and then where after that?  Damn it!  There’s a great story where they’re going, I’m sure of it.  But where exactly are they going?

Ah hell, forget about writing something – I got my whole life for that.  And the pasta’s probably done by now anyways.

Security guard in parking lot

That beer sure was good… you know, it’d be nice if that guy could give me another.  Hey, that’s right, I’ve seen him `round here lately, always parks in the guest lot.  Maybe I’ll drive up alongside him when he comes back – if he does – and politely ask for another.  But I wonder if he was going to see Dana.  Wait, I think I remember seeing those two a little tipsy together the other night… nah, doubt it was the same guy.  She’s way too much woman for him, gonna be on the cover of The Legend’s new CD.  I’m sure of it.

February 14, 2009 2:21 pm

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