The water lapped against the side of the tub, waves crashing on a porcelain shore. She brought her foot back underneath the water, and it slopped over the edge, wetting the ancient blue bath towel she used as a rug there.
She turned her head to nestle her chin into the hollow of her shoulder. Slowly, her eyes began to close of their own accord. The chain lock rattled against her front door, and the sound caused her eyelids to fly open. She shot upright in the tub, gripping the sides until her knuckles turned white and her heart raced out of control. A voice, faint from distance and solid wood doors, called to her.
“Sorry, wrong apartment.”
Recognizing the voice as a frequent visitor of her neighbor’s, she relaxed back into the water, sliding down to the welcoming warmth. Her pulse slowed its pounding in her ears, and she lifted her right foot to plug the open mouth of the faucet with her big toe.
The suds were subsiding, and she felt around beneath herself for the cap of her disposable razor. She didn’t find it; she assumed that when she pulled the plug, it would be lost forever down the drain whose crosshairs had rusted away years ago. When she rose to grab her towel and the plug’s chain slipped through her fingers, she had already forgotten to watch for its journey into oblivion.
Tonight we went outside to attempt smoking canned tuna. You open a can of tuna in oil, pat three sheets of two-ply toilet paper on top, let them soak up some oil, and light. When it burns out, the tuna is supposed to be beautifully smoky. Supposed to be.
As you can see, our paper did not entirely burn, and our tuna still looks like plain old canned tuna. It might possibly have had a hint of smoke in the taste, but that could have been in our mouths from sitting around the burning centerpiece while bs’ing with our new neighbor.
There’s a little building across the street with two tiny efficiency apartments. We’ve seen a lot of people come and go, some just waiting for a better place, some just here for the horse racing season.
Our latest has been there a couple weeks or so. We’ve seen her sitting in her car a lot. Just sitting. Today she walked over, introduced herself, and sat down at the table with us. When she asked what we were doing, Ian told her a science experiment. She loves science!
We learned a lot about her.
She’s a recently separated dog groomer who has a twenty-four year old cage fighting son. She loves fat people, thinks navy is my color, and believes Ian to be Jewish. She also has a bit of a drinking problem.
She does not, however, have a problem speaking her mind, unless you consider speaking half a sentence and following it up with either ‘you know?’ or half a sentence on a new subject a problem.
Needless to say, a bit awkward.
Still, she’s not a wild partier, which is number one with a bullet on our good neighbor checklist.