Archive for the ‘life in a rooming house’ Category

Life

March 13, 2017

Life

I feared. I feared for my life and safety. Every time I saw the fat man with the tattoos on his arms, my skin crawled. His voice, the way he spoke made me nauseous. I was criticized and insulted. I was on the point of calling the police several times; one time the phone was snatched from my hand when I was about to dial 911. His girlfriend, the landlady, took it away from me. I told several people to no avail. I lived in that rooming house for as long as I could. If I stayed it was for the sake of the cats. I didn’t know what else to do.

 

 

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Ownership?

March 2, 2017

Ownership?

I own the cat. The fat man’s voice was loud and strong. My boss gave him to me. But do you take care of the cat? Do you feed him, take him to the vet, see to it that he gets his shots and is neutered? No, the fat woman said. You wanted to do that. But it is required. Any vet will tell you that. And were you born in this country? No, the woman answered. Then you are undocumented just like me. Me like you? I am an American citizen. I can’t be like you. You are uncouth and rude. The argument went on and on. The fat man pretended to dial 911. Let’s call emergency, he said. We’ll say that there is a schizophrenic woman here. She’s been making threats. The woman watched in wonder. She was living in a nightmare, a horrible nightmare with these people. It couldn’t be real. How can it be? How did I get to this point? The fat woman insulted my mother and called me a scarecrow and I don’t know what else. How can I be with these people? I am not safe here. I have to go.

 

Shadow Game

February 23, 2017

The door of a room was open. A woman stood with her cat. She made a noise, a noise she did not intend to make. The man, she thought. The menace will wake up if he hears it. Another door opened; the fat man stood several inches away from her. His eyes were not friendly. She could tell this even in the dark. As she was about to close her door and pull the curtain, his shadow looked like danger. Quickly, she shut her door.

 

The Menace, Part 2

February 2, 2017

The Menace Part 2

It was late at night. A cat had slipped out of the woman’s room. The cat was a healthy cat; all she wanted to do was run around the house she thought was hers. The fat man walked into the kitchen just a second after the woman had gentlypushed the cat back inside. I am sorry, little one, she told the cat. The menace is too close to us. I want to protect you from that thing. The fat man stood looking about him; his beady eyes had meaness in them. His legs were wide apart, as if ready for a fight. The woman watched him from behind her closed door. She swallowed hard and sat down in the dark.

 

His Macho Land

December 25, 2016

I am beyond myself; I am more than beyond myself. The fat man with the pony tail saw me go out the door and when I tried to get back in, the door was locked. The fat man had been drinking. His excuse the time was Christmas Eve. When I confronted him and said that it had been wrong of him to do what he did, he just looked at me with his beady eyes. He pretended to be innocent and mentioned something about my having respect for his home. I stared at him. His home? It isn’t his home anymore than it is mine. He’s just lucky to sleep with the landlady. At one point he snapped his fingers at me and in his broken English, told me to go. Fucking Bitch was what I heard when I closed the door of my room. The fat girlfriend, the one with the dyed red hair sat in her chair watching all this saying nothing. I had to tell her to please shut him up.

Snap, Snap!

November 18, 2016

Fingers

His fingers. He likes to snap them. It means he has power, that he is a macho guy. The fat man with the long pony tail stands in the kitchen. A cat walks by him. He doesn’t look at him. The fingers do their job. “Get out! Get out! Not in the kitchen! The cat escap

Loud His voice was loud. His voice is always loud. The fat man shouted. The woman spoke softly at first. The fat man shouted again. The woman shouted back. Why? Why are you doing that? He asked her. Why do you give her food? I’ll give food to whoever I want to, the woman replied. The fat man’s voice sounded like an instrument in bad shape, one that hadn’t been fixed in a long time. One person nearby was listening to the fight. I want to. I want to go away. She didn’t mean any harm by giving me some spaghetti. She was being nice. Why can’t the fat man just shut up?

November 10, 2016

No There

October 26, 2016

No There

No, little one, my little one. Please, I beg of you. I ask you nicely because I love you. Do not. Just do not go there. Don’t dare run to the doors of the other rooms. Walk around for 2 minutes, no more than 2, and come right back to our room.  Someone can see you in the living room and they’ll tell the fat man. The fat man will manipulate his words to make it look like he is the decent one and that you and I disrespect his free house. He’s very good at that, at saying things in such a way that make him seem respectable. Please, my little cat, forgive me. I am so sorry. I want you to be free. I want me to be free. This is not the place for that.

The Fat Man and hisGirlfriend

October 17, 2016

The Fat Man and his Girlfriend

“You can’t you can’t use that coffeemaker! It’s Maria’s. You broke the handle.” The fat man, wearing his cotton robe, shouted. His beady eyes shook with anger. “I am sorry,” the woman said. I didn’t mean to. Can’t you go back to the store and get a new one?” “No. You owe us $20.” The fat man’s girlfriend came into the kitchen and muttered something about the tenant breaking everything. “I do no such thing,” the tenant said. “This is the first time.” “It doesn’t matter. You take things that don’t belong to you.” “I am sorry,” the tenant repeated. “And I never take things that don’t belong to me.” The fat man’s girlfriend put the black handle back in the coffeemaker.  “I can never win with these people. They like to twist things around for their benefit,” the tenant thought. Somehow, the fat man’s girlfriend pushed the tenant. “Stop doing that or I’ll call the police.” She opened the door of her room and started to get her cell phone. The fat woman’s girlfriend’s hand was quick. “You aren’t getting this phone back,” the girlfriend said. Her brown eyes almost belonged to a beast. “Give me my phone back!” The girlfriend ran to her bedroom and closed the door. “What will I do?” The tenant asked the home attendant. “Don’t know. I never get involved.” “I knew you wouldn’t,” the tenant thought.” If Maria speaks with the agency you could lose this job.” The tenant went to her room, put on her shoes and ran to her friend’s office. After a while, the fat man’s girlfriend returned the tenant’s phone. The girlfriend pretended that she was the innocent one. “If you mess with me,” the friend told Maria.” You’ll see what I’m capable of. She is not paying you rent this month, seeing as this is her last month. No more $600 from her. Later, she told the tenant: “You don’t want to end up in a mass grave because of these people. You have to be careful. I’ll see what I can do about getting you out of there.”

 

 

 

 

The Fat Man’s Girlfriend

October 17, 2016

The Fat Man’s Girlfriend

“You can’t you can’t use that coffeemaker! It’s Maria’s. You broke the handle.” The fat man, wearing his cotton robe, shouted. His beady eyes shook with anger. “I am sorry,” the woman said. I didn’t mean to. Can’t you go back to the store and get a new one?” “No. You owe us $20.” The fat man’s girlfriend came into the kitchen and muttered something about the tenant breaking everything. “I do no such thing,” the tenant said. “This is the first time.” “It doesn’t matter. You take things that don’t belong to you.” “I am sorry,” the tenant repeated. “And I never take things that don’t belong to me.” The fat man’s girlfriend put the black handle back in the coffeemaker.  “I can never win with these people. They like to twist things around for their benefit,” the tenant thought. Somehow, the fat man’s girlfriend pushed the tenant. “Stop doing that or I’ll call the police.” She opened the door of her room and started to get her cell phone. The fat woman’s girlfriend’s hand was quick. “You aren’t getting this phone back,” the girlfriend said. Her brown eyes almost belonged to a beast. “Give me my phone back!” The girlfriend ran to her bedroom and closed the door. “What will I do?” The tenant asked the home attendant. “Don’t know. I never get involved.” “I knew you wouldn’t,” the tenant thought.” If Maria speaks with the agency you could lose this job.” The tenant went to her room, put on her shoes and ran to her friend’s office. After a while, the fat man’s girlfriend returned the tenant’s phone. The girlfriend pretended that she was the innocent one. “If you mess with me,” the friend told Maria.” You’ll see what I’m capable of. She is not paying you rent this month, seeing as this is her last month. No more $600 from her.”