A tale of horror

So, I went to see an apartment tonight. I'm coming down with something so what I have to relate may be fever induced.

First, there is nothing more depressing than a bleak, freezing cold winter day. Driving through old coal towns with drifts of dirty snow in the strippins' is horrendous. The apartment building I was going to see was in a little town called Alburtis, right next to some railroad tracks. I trudged upstairs to the handyman's apartment.

Suddenly, I had found something more depressing. A narrow, cold, spooky linoleum floored hallway, glaringly lit by florescent lights. The cheap, hollow wooden doors of the apartments had the kind of number stickers found in hardware stores. Reflective parallelograms. My echoing footsteps noisily followed me to Apartment #2. There was another sticker on this door. "Oxygen Inside". I knocked. The door opened. And there stood the handyman, Harold, a lit cigarette in his mouth. At the sight of him I immediately looked for his bloody axe. As so often happens to guys when they're sick and afraid, my Mr. Mushroom tried to flee up into my lower intestines and take the family jewels with it. His name could not be anything but Harold. Not Harry, not Slim, not Stretch. It had been ground into him by what surely must have been a fat, dyed blond, cracker, trailer trash mother with a twinkie permanently in her mouth and a voice that frequently escalated into the ultrasonic, but not before screeching, in a nails on chalkboard squeal, the name HAAAARRRROOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!! I wish I could have taken a picture of Harold but I was afraid the flash would set off some kind of fit.

Harold quickly shut the door on his tiny, slovenly room and took me to the apartment for rent. Number 3. Great. We'd be neighbors. The landlord had told me that this apartment had hardwood floors, a den, and was the biggest one bedroom apartment I would ever see. It was the biggest because it was actually a two bedroom. The "den" was a bedroom. Semantics. The "hardwood floors" were painted a matte, shit brown. The same color as Harold's protruding teeth. I wondered if he had planed the floor with them, like some axe murdering beaver. There were those drop ceilings one finds in office buildings and I surmised that the bodies were stashed in the crawl space.

At this point a train came rumbling down the nearby tracks, apparently on a spur line through the downstairs hallway. I thought, for a moment, that Harold, standing there in his filthy ill-fitting t-shirt and jeans, with his ropey muscles, was going to grab a stick with a kerchief tied to it and hop a freight, but I think his broken down picket fence, beaver-like teeth were weighing him down.

The bathroom was painted a blue not otherwise found in this dimension. And the tub... The tub... The less said about the tub the better. Unbidden, my imagination produced the image of Harold taking a bath in that tub after murdering the last tenant and sanding the floorboards with his choppers. My fever rising and my courage exhausted, I fled.

I headed for Borders because I had a coupon and was intent on buying The Life Aquatic soundtrack. First, I went to the cafe because I was near collapse from whatever plague had infected me. I had green tea with honey and also some wish soup. Wish soup because I wish I had some chicken in it, Ms. Guilt Trip Clyde castevet. ;)

After eating I immediately felt better. I grabbed the soundtrack, slapped it in the car CD player and headed for home, the heat on high. Wes Anderson co-produced this album and it is just excellent. I'm going to play it over and over. It was the perfect length for the drive home and it gave me strength for the cold walk up the stairs to my apartment. I took two aspirin, jumped on the couch with a blanket and watched Amazing Race. Now, I'm actually hungry again. Thank heavens for my immune system.

The end.
  • Current Mood: horrified
Does the soundtrack have all those lovely Portugese renditions of Bowie? I was so moved by those.
Even if Harold calls you and asks you to supper and begs to be friends, that isn't the home for you!

Finally, for me, it would come down to the number stickers on the doors.


Get well soon!

One good thing about your inspection: you got to do some excellent writing!