Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the coffee stain in the middle of Monroeville, PA

    I'm looking for old notebooks of mine.  Notebooks filled front and back, written while in seventh grade, notebooks filled under telephone wires, hidden behind brick exterior next to paper thin walls.  my next door neighbors cut the wires on the laundry machine so they could steal all the quarters and they did steal the quarters.  I smelled the mint that crept down the hallway and under my door until it stopped three days later.  Then I heard yelling every night after and felt it my duty to inform the police of it, since the yelling was coming from a man I had caught on several occasions peering through the keyhole of my apartment.

        It took over the next two months for the landlord to have anyone fix the washer and dryer, so during that time I had to walk my laundry baskets three blocks, down piss drenched streets, dodging the drug dealers among others just asking for money to a crumbling brick hole that sat in between a tattoo parlor and a butcher's shop.  This dismayed me due to the fact that the right glass window of the laundromats' front was split in two, the split panel was held together with duct tape on either sides.  You stayed in the laundromat while your clothes were being cleaned and you didn't dare leave.  It didn't matter, soaking wet clothes would be stolen.  It was here at the Pitcairn laundromat I met a prostitute named Brenda.  I hated Brenda.  Two teeth somehow hung in between her scabbed lips.  She carried a plastic grocery bag for a purse where she'd pull loose cigarette butts from.  Brenda was some where in her mid thirties to mid forties.  It was Brenda who would ask me incessantly if I'd like to have a girl swallow my cum for ten dollars or if I liked to party we could just go there if I had a place... The way Brenda put it I suppose was actually not as overt I suppose, but the suggestive nature of her connotations was grotesque and I had to keep myself from impaling her with the nubby feet of the plastic chairs lined against the wall.  I couldn't find one without gum and brown globby smudges all over it anyway.
         Brenda would follow me back to the outside of my apartment, the whole time talking nonsense.  At first this was exciting and amusing to hear her inebriated rambling but it became annoying after a week.  My clothes began to pile up and my apartment began to stink because less and less was I feeling the effort of walking three blocks in that area for clean underwear was worth it.  As a result I avoided Brenda until one night, when my cat 'Blackbean' escaped out into the hallway of my apartment building as I was bringing groceries in from my car.  So at the end of this narrow hallway with tacky red carpet, the kind at old hotels, there was an open screen door to a patio on one side and adjacent to that the other tenant's apartment door.  The hallway smelled like mint again, the smell was leaking out from under the man's door.  On the patio was Brenda smoking a cigarette.  Well since the patio door was left open Blackbean ran through it and into the night.  And Brenda the hooker says, "fuckin cat".
Music was playing loud in the apartment of my crackhead neighbor and as Brenda turned to come in, still leaving the patio door open our eyes met.  I went ballistic.  My cat was gone because she left the patio door open, my neighbor's hooker that wasn't even supposed to be in my building.  I yelled and called her  a 'fucking careless' and I called her 'stupid' and I called her "fat", but I don't remember ever calling her a whore.  She began to cry dramatically, while rolling her eyes and flailing her arms.

    "oh everything is my fault," she said.  Brenda says, "I'm friends with the biggest men, who will come in here, they do not care....they do not care."

    I kind of translated what she was goin on about.  The thing was... it scared me and I believed her.  All these people were crazy.  It was Brenda now who was fuming, livid, patches of old makeup cracked around the rough patches of skin on her face.  Little curly hairs at the top of her head seemed to have been fried off, her hair was brown at the roots and looked singed around the perimeters of her face.  As if her face had caught on fire in some horrible meth lab explosion.  I was dumbfounded watching her go, I thought she was going to charge after me.  I thought she was going to kill me.  Brenda slammed the door to the neighbor's apartment.  The apartment that smells like bathroom cleaner.  I was frozen, I made my way down the stair to go get the last of my groceries from my car parked across the street in the community parking lot that sat next to the community park and baseball field.  My hands full of tidy cat and ramen, Giant brand ice cream sandwiches, my hands full of apples, tomatoes, speghettios, well all that hits the ground when Brenda runs down the stair passed me while screaming.  At the top of the stairs I hear my neighbor's voice threatening her with 'ass kickings' or something.  I dunno, crackhead fight.  well Brenda, she runs out onto the street in front of a car, which hits her.  Her body spins around, just like an ice skater, double axel, triple maybe?  It was almost the most graceful thing I had ever seen in person.  Brenda hits the ground, the cars  tires cease jerking its metal body back and forth.  She stands up, Brenda does, as quickly as she hit the ground and just kept running.  Past the parked cars and through the baseball field, into the silhouetted trees beyond and disappeared into the night.

       Living here was getting hit by a car just like Brenda did.  And I kept on running too.  That's what I had to do.  It was such a great metaphor.  I found my cat Blackbean and I moved out two months later, which violated my lease.  So I called the cops on my neighbor one last time the day I moved out, because he was playing Insane Clown Posse to loudly.  That didn't work, apparently the lease I signed determined my willingness to live next to crackheads.  So with three more months to not pay on the lease and Blackbean, we left.  Blackbean ran away fifteen months later in july.  I started writing again after that, that's where these notebooks pickup.


Eva said...

That was really crazy. We meet the strangest people in life.

jady said...


Christopher said...

I still remember the first time a prostitute with two teeth changed my life. Ah, memories.

Kanwalful said...

Crazy this is...

katieleigh said...

fuck, I love this.

I'm sorry Blackbean ran away :(