creative projects · Fiction · noise in the room upstairs

Entry #4: Odds & Ends

5:07 AM:

I woke up early again to the chainsaw orchestrations of Ms. Clark.

It’s 5am.

Honestly, what business could that woman be up to this early in the morning?!

 

11: 13 AM:

Mira decided to stop by today. She’s in my living room right now.

She’s my other next door neighbor. Not the chain smoker.

She wanted to paint a picture of the inside of my apartment. She was fascinated by the various mechanical bits and odd wires that were strewn about the living room. It’s a weird artist thing where the most random thing imaginable gives them “sudden inspiration.” Mira tends to take a lot of “sudden inspiration” from a bunch a strange things. Last week it was Chinese take-out box, grease-stained and fly-ridden, on top of a rusted trash can lid. Today it’s my apartment. I’m not too comfortable with the parallel.

I wanted to turn down the offer. My place was messy and there are things littered about that I didn’t want other people to see. It’s personal. Confidential. Dangerous even. She wouldn’t have it though. Once an artist has their mind set on something, the worst thing a person could do was block them from their goal. She gave an impassioned speech of the dangers of stifling creative freedom, stomping her feet and moving her hands about wildly. I let her in, half fearing she would have a fit otherwise.

She’s sitting on my couch toying with the dials of the television set. I was a bit happy for that. For the first fifteen minutes she was here, she was poking about the room pen and sketchbook in hand. Every other second, she was touching my stuff and asking what they could be used for. She made a big mess of things and I’m starting to get a headache thinking about putting everything back in their proper places. That could also just be lack of sleep though. Or that other thing.

(Note: Maybe try lower setting.)

Now I’m a bit worried. The woman in the television has been unsettlingly quiet since Mira started messing with her. She may get annoyed and tell her off.

I told Mira not to fiddle with the TV too much since it was old. She gave me a strange look.

“Why do you even keep this dusty old thing? It doesn’t even work,” she said, twisting the dials for emphasis.

I scoffed and said something like, “It requires a special touch to make it work. Besides, it was a twenty dollar bargain.”

She shook her head. “Dude, you could have better spent that money.” She stared back at the television. “But I guess this isn’t the weirdest thing here.”

I wanted to say something else but she doesn’t know about the woman in the television. It’s probably best if it stayed that way.

 

10:48 PM:

Welcome to the Night Shift.

Where happy families and disgruntled afternoon-rush patrons are steadily replaced by the weirdos that stalk the night.

Today’s resident weirdo:

A middle aged woman with matted hair who sat at the back corner of the restaurant. She entered at around 10pm. She didn’t even approach the counter. She just sat back there and stared out the window to that inky black expanse. After 15 minutes, me and Josh did a toss on who would approach her. I lost. Like always.

I asked her if there was anything I could do. She looked me up and down, sleeping bags looking like bruises under her eyes. I half wondered if she knew where she was.

She demanded a chicken nugget.

“Would that be a 10 piece meal?” I asked.

She banged her fist on the table.

“No! Just a chicken nugget!” She yelled.

I got her a chicken nugget but wasn’t sure how to ring it up at first. I decided that a quarter would do.

When I handed her the chicken nugget folded in a napkin she sneered. She snatched it from me and yelled, “May you never follow your dreams!”

She then dashed towards the exit.

I went back to the kitchen a bit shaken from the encounter.

A little later, I got yelled at by the manager for costing him twenty five cents. Welp, that’s a quarter I won’t see in my paycheck.

 

11:37 PM:

She came back. The chicken nugget lady ran up to the drive-thru window and shoved a piece of paper through the window slit.

Written in a pretty scrawl, it said: “Disbelieve your eyes!”

For the life of me I can’t find it now though.

 

11:54 PM

You know what I like. Ranch sauce. The taste and feel of it. I’ll spend the weekend neck deep in my bathtub just wallowing in it.

It’s a secret that I’m ashamed to let anyone else know. What would my mother

Josh is an asshole. He has no goddamn respect for privacy!

He said that this was an April Fool’s joke. That I should laugh. HA! HA!

I’m not laughing. I’m not even slightly amused. I was half tempted to throw the hot frying oil on him.

It’s an April Fool’s Joke! He should laugh! HAA!! HAA!!

NOW LOOK WHO’S THE FOOL?!

This’ll be the last time I bring this thing to work.

Hopefully, he didn’t read any of it.

I hope he didn’t read any of it!

 

1:07 AM:

A midnight performance was held in the park across the street. I had a front row seat to the fabulous display though, it was a bit too avant-garde for me. The street lamps were the only lighting available and it was hard to distinguish the specific story. All I know is that it involved two men, a black bag, and a shovel. The park often hosts an odd array of spectacles, mostly black parades and gospel arias where everyone circles around a trunk of sorts. In both of these cases, I just cheered and clapped when the procession was over from my second story window. Usually, my applause is met with a wail of gratitude but the late night performers seemed to rush from the scene at the sound.

I will never truly understand those theater types. They’re just like those artist types.

The chain-smoker next door was giving smoke signals in the dim light of the street lamps. His nicotine dreams told the story of his solitude and the dearth of the human condition. It was also possible he was signaling ghost from the netherworld.

I closed the window.

I have a toaster to attend to.


Last Edit: 01 April 2016

 

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