Needless to say, I was in no hurry to go down to apartment 213. My reasons were few, but they were important. And meaningful.
You see, after a couple cups of coffee I was beginning to fully recall what I’d seen after the 2 AM wake-up call from Arturo. Him specifically.
Yeah, I’d gone down there after he’d called me and met him in the mezzanine. When the police show up in the middle of the night to check out a disturbance, I want to be informed. I like to think I it’s best to stay on top of my job. But after the brief hint I’d gotten of what was covering the walls of the junior two bedroom, and how it had shaken my chubby transplanted Colombian superintendent, I was happy to stay away, and not to mention empty the last three ounces of a bottle of single malt to make sure I get some sleep hope I wasn’t going to have any bad dreams.
You know how that worked out.
So when I stood in front of the elevator with my index finger, wavering between the up button and the down button, I was filled with trepidation. You can understand my personal preference was to head back up to my penthouse for another glass of Glenn, not head down.
However, my sense of responsibility was not completely overwhelmed by dread, and I successfully pressed the down button. I had dreamed of the distant past, not the present. My subconscious could have been just… sympathizing.
Now you might ask, who is Detective Fingers? And why were Teresa and I so casual when we talked about him? Well, his full name is actually Speaks-With-Fingers. For some reason he prefers the literal translation to his actual Potawaseet version. To bad, I always thought his Indian came across as rather adorable. And yes, we know each other, have been friends for a few years. I’ve even helped him out a couple times. I’ll explain about that later on.
I was hoping, he only wanted me to come down for official reasons, maybe because I’d actually been in the apartment since I’d rented it, not to mention I’d interviewed the former tenant. God, I hope it was just that.
Well, technically he was still the current tenant, as he had paid until the end of the month, not to mention the security deposit. Billingsly – I think his name was – Mark Billingsly, unfortunately hadn’t given the standard sort of notice at all, that he was supposed to provide, you know, sixty days.
I was about know in a few minutes, what kind of notice he had provided. For the moment, as the elevator hummed it’s way down to the second floor, I just had some vague nasty impressions.
Sadly, It’s not the first time an somewhat shocking death has happened here at 23 Pangbourne, although I’ll be quick, and happy, to say it isn’t a common occurrence.
I thought again over the wakeup call, just in case I’d be quizzed on it. I’d gotten a call from Arturo, the superintendent, because the tenants in 211 said they heard something strange, going on next door. Well, actually they called 911 first, and then when the police got there , since I was dead to the world, they got Arturo up to go up and open the door. On the third call from him, so he told me, I answered the phone, pulled myself out of bed and went down myself, to my regret, I might add.
Because unfortunately, the tenant wasn’t answering the door. Thankfully these police officers had a reasonable amount of respect for private property, and hadn’t decided to kick it in. Nice of them, really.
And I had had a good reason to be totally zonked. An evening with my girlfriend Toni. Now my mother, always wanted me, to find a nice Catholic girl, settle down with. Unfortunately my tendency was for not so nice girl’s, Catholic or otherwise. So when my mother met Toni, she was more or less overjoyed. That was before my mother died, so at least she had some happy hopes in her head before the crash on the I95 that put her in the hospital coma where she spent the last eight months of her life. I’m not sure how she would have reacted to Toni if they’d met post-mortem.
I suppose the only good thing about that was my mother didn’t turn into the kind of thing you see shuffling along Princess Street, or flipping burgers at a McWillies.
Although Mary Antonia , sweet, cute, and a fan of thrash metal, though she was, was having her own problems and current preoccupations. Her grandfather was in the hospital, and didn’t have much hope for recovery from a third heart attack. But even that might not ultimately keep him down.
Why I had all these things in my mind as a dropped down a dozen floors? I don’t know. Close-scale death always upsets my well ordered life. Maybe I just wanted to prepare myself. Maybe I just wanted to keep in mind what I was about to see might not be so strange and terrifying. People die all the time. People even kill themselves on a somewhat regular basis. Sometimes more than once, even.
And while I hadn’t considered the consequences and probabilities, her family was going nuts about her grandfather’s impending passing So she needed a night of release, you can read that as sex, and I was more than happy to provide it.
She, however, has a morning that starts well before mine. I think I was awake when she left, think I remembered her kiss. Maybe.
Maybe that’s what my mind was trying, in it’s own early morning way, to get to. Happy thoughts.