Friday, June 8, 2012

Apartment 3-B

"Life is a dream that's already over." Jack Kerouac

He woke up…it was Tuesday, 10 A.M. . He realized with a smile he hadn’t set the alarm.

Usually, when he went out on a week night, he’d set the alarm for 5:30, so he’d

have plenty of time to scrape himself out of bed and put on his game face for work,

but not this time. He realized he didn’t have to get up at all. The urge was there, the

previous momentum, to just fall into his usual routine: start the coffee, shower and shave,

open the door to his apartment and grab the paper, start the bagel in the toaster while he

was pouring his coffee…read the comics and do the crossword while he was waking.

It seemed strange to think about it, still in bed, knowing that he would never be able to

do that again, follow that routine. He looked out the window of his apartment. The sky

was pretty clear. He had been blown away when he found out that his uncle had left him

this small condo on the East Side of Manhattan…he’d wanted to live in New York to

pursue his acting ambitions, and his uncle, who loved him, gave him this in his will.

His uncle hadn’t told anyone in the family that he was dying. He remembered his

uncle with love as he laid in his bed. He reached over to the night table and took a

cigarette from a half-empty pack….

he’d quit smoking two months before and wasn’t having a problem with it….but,

like having the apartment, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

The radio on his computer came on. He didn’t remember setting it. It went through

his ipod and out the Bose speakers. It was a classical station. They were playing

“Afternoon of a Faun”. The beauty of the music juxtaposed against his situation almost

made him burst with laughter…but the irony was too strong for that. He just laid there

and listened. There was the sound of a few birds outside, but the usual street noise was

eerily not there. This surprised him, but only for a second.

He decided he wanted a cup of coffee. This was a big decision, as all the small ones

that used to be had just become. He wasn’t physically impaired…there was nothing

different in his physical health from a year ago, as far as he knew…

Luckily he’d been saving some Blue Kona for something special. He put the water on,

and measured three measures into the French Press. That would make two good, strong

cups. He checked the clock: 11 A.M.. He went back to his bed, sat down, and lit

another cigarette. He wasn’t ready to check CNN, MSNBC, or any other media, if

they were, in fact, still on the air.

Last night was, actually, one of the best times he’d ever had. His best friend, Gaud

Klammer, had a club off the first L. stop in Brooklyn, and they partied like it was

1999! Somehow they had it together by three P.M….invited guests only… and they

took their time and made the party last. Everyone brought everything they’d been

holding back for “the” occasion, because, this was it. He remembered that the first drink

he had the night before was some Nineteenth century cognac. He could still taste it.

Gaud had been the master of ceremonies last night, and he did a fantastic job. Once there

was a majority of guests, he interrupted the random action and made a little speech. It

went something like this:

“Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome All to this momentous event! In order to make

the most of our time here, we request that you make any cell phone calls to relatives

and friends within the next half hour, after which your phones could please be

remanded to our phone-check-girl, who will have a nice tag for each of your phones

so you can get them back, if you should so want to at the end of the evening…

whenever that might be.

Other than that, there are no requirements or limitations! Enjoy yourselves in the

spirit of the occasion!”

He thought that was quite nice as an intro. And he was right about taking away the cell


Most of his friends from the City were there. Tammy, his old girlfriend who grew

up in Brooklyn, was there. Her daughter, Miata, was with her… a beautiful young

woman. Tiny Bobo, the video artist and teacher showed up. Tiny was his best friend.
He was surprised to see Tiny there because he was such a misanthrope…but the event

was such that it managed to drag even him there. We spent some time getting

sea-mashed together while the evening progressed. “Help Me Rhonda” seemed to

have been played more than once….

Most were there to get drunk, and most succeeded easily. The conversation wasn’t

too stimulating…a kind of intellectual daze hung over the evening….a daze gone by,

or, of bygone times and what used to be the relentless search for the truth.

There was nothing left to speculate about now.

These were the thoughts he was having about the night before as he laid in bed.. He

turned the radio off.

The profound silence hit him, and he started to cry.



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