…All the posts about how ghetto/much of a shithole Rochester is. It’s really not that bad. Except where I live…
He laughs and doesn’t believe me.
“tell me more.” And the way he says it, jokingly is infuriating.
“We live above a bar in an apartment with a door that doesn’t really lock. The screen was taken out of the door months ago and never replaced with glass. Our landlord is an ass and won’t fix anything. I can’t walk to my own door without stepping on glass. I can’t go to sleep at night without hearing gunshots or fighting.”
“Sounds awful.” But he doesn’t mean it. He’s talking to me in that annoying patronizing way. Like a teacher talking to a student making excuses for missing homework. He’s not my teacher any more. He shouldn’t be a bastard.
“I’m serious. I live in the ghetto. I’m afraid to go out alone at night.”
“Well come home.” And I know he’s saying it seriously now. He wants me to come home and grow up and start acting like an adult. Like the nice responsible woman I should be. He wants me to stop running away and stop ignoring people when I think I’m getting a little too uncomfortable with the situation.
“You know I’m not going too.” I’m answering all his unasked questions. I wont come home. I wont grow up. I wont go back to him. It was never really him in the first place. And he knows that.
He says he misses me and I hate him just a little bit. I say I know and we hang up and he goes back to the class he should be teaching and I go back to sitting alone in my bed eating cold leftovers.
Our water is fucking cold. Maybe the landlord turned our heater down because the rent is late. I don’t know, but shaving my legs is becoming a hassle and my hair feels like it just wont come clean. We don’t regulate our heat. The apartment is baking all the time. Just feels like a fucking sauna. And it’s so cold outside that the windows fog up at night. Everything smells like cigarettes. It would even if my roommate didn’t smoke. The walls may have been white at some point.
She talks about Texas or Tennessee. Anywhere is better than here.
I thought the club would be smaller and dirtier. In upstate, or maybe just this part of upstate, there’s not much to do except drink and look for tail. We were all about the drinking, but neither of us wanted to go home with any guys. But the club was big and fairly empty aside from a table near the stage and a few lonely boys posted up at the bar. The bartender was blonde and fit and knew my roommate from a few months ago. We talked about the girls and the manager and dancing. The stage was empty. We got our beers and headed over to the side to talk about the plans for the day and to play some pool. When we looked over there was a girl on stage in a short tight red dress. Nothing out of the ordinary. We played pool. Two attractive girls alone in a strip club always draws attention. We had acquired a small audience. A short, annoyingly persistent Indian man and a guy who may have worked there. A fat, sagging, black haired stripper sat alone at the bar. Had the Indian man stayed there, she would’ve flirtatiously laid her hand on his arm, laughed seductively at his too thick to understand accent, led him right past us to private back room. Instead she stared at us. The two young women unintentionally stealing money from her pocket. It got weird quick, so we left after our game. We went to a little diner not too far away and ate drunkenly fifty feet from a table of state troopers. We bought some food. She dropped me off at home and went to a boys house. I stumbled up the stairs deliriously tired and fell asleep fully clothed. I woke up with the taste of Genny light in my mouth and a strong desire to avoid that place.
thump thump thump thuuuump thumpuh
the inconsistent pulse of someone’s head hitting fiberglass.
skreee eeyawww skreeeeyaww yawskreee
the unpleasantly off-time shrieks of multiple car alarms.
crack crack crackcrackcrack
skreeeyaw skreeee eeyaww
thumpah thump thump
the muffled spark and bang of a handgun.
crack crack crackk
the fading grinding of something being dragged.
heyyyy boiii hollaahh come ova heeyaw
the desperate calls of broke lonely girls to men in fast cars
slap tap slap tap slap tap
the uneven poorly paced jog of someone wearing ill-fitting shoes
slamph slamph slamph
the rushed escape of slamming car doors.
That violent midnight ghetto music
The apartment smells of coffee and cigarettes and when she stumbles out of her room in the morning asking why I didn’t wake her I don’t know how to respond other than I didn’t know the time. Which is a lie. I had been staring at the clock for nearly an hour watching it creep closer to the time when we’d both be late. She leaves fast and I stay behind for another hour doing absolutely nothing but thinking of cleaning or what to make for dinner and drinking stale cold coffee I made last night.