Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 18

“That’s the bathroom over there.” The old woman swept her arm at another doorway through which the edge of a toilet could be seen, but she did not encourage me to go in. I scratched my head and looked around. The place was dismal at best, but what she said about the availability of apartments in Lockbridge was correct. I’d been looking for a few weeks and this was the first showing I’d found. “Well, what do ya’ think?” The landlady was tapping her foot against the stained linoleum. I got a good look at her for the first time since we had arrived. She was short, but her stature was made even smaller by the heavy stoop in her back that made it look as though she had spent her lifetime carrying heavy loads. Her short hair fell in a straight curtain to her jutting jaw. It looked as if it had been dyed red at one point, but had faded to a dull orange. “Well, I’m not sure. There was another place I was interested in, and the deposit was only three-fifty.” I wondered if she would know this was an out-and-out lie. I hadn’t even seen an ad for an apartment with a deposit that low. “That’ll be fine,” she answered quickly, pouncing on the three-fifty as though it was a gold mine. “Let’s go downstairs. That’s where I have all the forms.” The old lady scuttled out of the apartment with an unexpected liveliness. “You did say it was just you, right?  This is just a single apartment.” She glared up at me, daring me to lie. “Yep. Just me.”   Mrs. Pritchett nodded her head curtly and continued on down the stairs. I scrambled to keep up with her, and my stomach jumped up into my throat with excitement. It was a shithole, but I would finally be out of Jake’s place. We had lived in a state of silent tolerance ever since I found out about his affair. With the signing of a few pieces of paper and a check that I hoped wouldn’t bounce, I’d be out on my own. *** I knew I should have cleaned the apartment first. That just the kind of thing you do when you get a new place, right? Clean out the last tenant’s dust and dirt so you can replace it with your own. But when I got back to the little house on the corner by the park, where Jake and I had lived for the past five years, he wasn’t there. I had been packing ever since our relationship went down the drain, and I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity to dash without him looking over my shoulder. I piled as much as I could into the back of my ancient station wagon and flung dust on my way back to my new apartment. It was hell climbing all those stairs with my boxes. The fall day was too warm for that kind of a thing, but I knew I still had another load to fetch from Jake’s, so I hurried as much as I could without killing myself on the bowed boards of the steps. I piled everything in the living room with the lumpy couch that some other resident had left behind next to a crooked floor lamp. Then I was back in the car to grab another load before Jake got home. When all of the cardboard boxes were stacked in lopsided towers in the living r ݥѠ()ٕəݥѼѡэ$ѡݥ̰)ɽѡȰ՜ЁѱɅ䁍ȁɅѡݕЁѼݽɬ$хѕѡэ)͍Չݸѡݽɸ͠ѡչѕȁѽ)͡ѡ́ЁɅѡЁ͕)ѼѡиQɥ䁙ȁɕ͕Ѽ)͡ȁٕЁЁЁ$܁Ё)ѡɽ՝($)9а$ٕѼѡɽ$݅́ɕ)ᡅѕЁ$܁$݅́Ѽͽ)ѼͱѡЁи$ՑѼѡѡȁͥѡ)ѵЁձѡ䁍х́ѡЁٕɕѡݥܸQ́݅́䰁ЁЁѥ)՝չЁѼݡ$($)Q݅́ݕɔٕɕͽݽ)Ёѡԁ͕䁵͕́ɽѡ)͕ٕѥ́Ёѡɕՙ1ѱ́聅)չѼѡ́ݕѡ̰$ɕ)ɽȁ́$ɕ镐ݡЁ͔݅́ѡ̸݅($)镹́镹́ɥ́ѕѡ)ݽݽɬѡ́ѡ՝ͽ)ѽɽЁЁͱЁյɽ́ѥ́ݥѠ)ɕ䁡̸Qɥ́ɭѡɕ)ЁѡȁݸݽȁЁ䁡)ѡ䁝ЁѡɔЁЁ܁ѡ́ѵЁ)م]Ѡ͡ՑȰ$ɕɹѼѡэȁՍЁͽ݅ѕȁ͍Չ($)QͽչȁȁѡɭЁ)eЁɕѕȁݥѠչѥ$ɐѕ́ѡ)х́ѡЁѼ䁑ȸ($+qɔԁɔt($)QѡЁѡɥ́ѡٕ݅ݕɔѡɕѼѡ݅$Ёɥ)ѡЁٽѥЁɕɕЁͱݱ)ɥѡ͍$)ɽչ͕ɍȁ͕аЁЁ݅́ѡ)э$݅́Սѡݹȁѡٽ݅)ɕ䁅Ёѡѽɴȸ q]Ёɔԁɔ))t$յ$eЁѡȁЁѡ)ɽ($)!Ё͕ѡѽɴȁͱ͵ɬЁ́́Ёѡ)ɽ܁٥ɽ($+qIQ́eԁeЁѡЁɅєѼٔлt!ѽ͕́ɬȰݡ)Ёɽ܁ЁչѥЁ݅́Ё́܁ЁЁ)՝ѼЁѼх%Ё)єՍ($)$ɹѼѡ݅$ձɔ)ݽձ݅丁$ѡ՝ЁЁ)ٕՅ䰁Ё$eЁѕЁѼѡ́ͽ($+q]Ёԁ݅t($)!Ѽѡɽ$ձ)́ɽ٥ٕȁѡхѡ䁍)ѡЁݽձѡɽ՝͡ѡѡ)ݥ̰ѡ䁍Սѕ͕и$ѥՕ)͍Չѡ݅Ё$ձЁ)͍Ʌѥ䁩յչɹѠ䁡ȸ +q$ѡ՝Ё$͡ձѡЁЁи$)$eЁЁԁЁոյѕ)ͽݡɔѡ՝$ѡѡ́ɕ䁍͔ )t($((0