If it wasn’t for the board outside, you wouldn’t want to have another glance at it. There weren’t, what you call, ordinary rooms in it. The denizens preferred to call them their coops. It was in these coops, they found a love each morning, lost it by night, and woke up lamenting the morning after.
The walls were so thin that you could be a part of your neighbour’ lives on both side and they yours. I don’t even know what it will take you to believe, so I rather not mention the dimensions of these coops. Mary Jane was so potent that it had the nine of us gracing the floor of the same coop as we listened to the owner rant about his ladylove who we could all hear, professing her love to another, just next door.
I wondered what I was doing there. One had to wait for one’s hour of departure and one’s mother had the innate ability to call them when they were sure to be found in their most deliriously brazen states. Somehow, I braved mine and assured her that if she were to fly there right then, she would have done so in vain only to find me at the platform and as to why she couldn’t hear the usual backdrop voices, I pointed out the vices of technology, “It’s the phone, mum” and she bought it in half a heartbeat.
I stood outside for a while, breathing in the damp air, spiced by cheap cologne, tobacco, and weed. I noticed that I had two different slippers on, but my gaze went beyond the sight of my ugly toes, and fell upon a copperish curly-haired head. My eyes pried further till she might have felt two inebriated eyes boring her. That’s when she looked up. What met me was a pair of two haunting, almost tealish eyes tinctured in sunken kohl-rimmed sockets. She smiled and I threw back the best I could manage.
Must be a college kid, though what was she doing in a place like this (no one really points the finger at one’s own self). I had most definitely seen her in college, but what damned nook of that dreary building that I couldn’t recall. Ah! It struck me like the first snow storm; the library. I had seen her there, those same eyes buried deep within a novel. One of Capote’s was it?
The chain of thought might have carried me further down the rabbit hole, had it not been the fading effect of green, and the gruff un-gentleman who had just entered the scene. Think of an image of the most macho man you have ever seen, add to it a protruding beer belly and moustache that started from his nostrils , hard to differentiate from his chest hair, which if woven into a comforter could easily cover a California king, and now hold onto that image for a while.
He held her by the arm in the most blood boiling way and whispered in a potential rapist’s steely voice “Diez minutos! “. That face, those scared eyes, and those words stayed with me for a long time and so immense was the combined effect of all that I almost missed my train.