the landlady

We were to meet at the local coffee shop somewhere around six.  I left my room with just enough time to get there.  I should have left earlier but I had to wait
until my landlady wasn't looking because I was two months back on my rent.
She was drab lady with hair that resembled tendrils that hadn't been pruned for years.  In order to avoid her I snuck out my back door but alas she outsmarted me.  There she was, standing at the bottom of the back stairs tapping her toe on the wood landing.
With hands on hips and temples that were pulsating like a fish out of water she demanded two month rent or it was out on my ass that I would find myself.  Well of course I had to come up with something or I would be sleeping in the alley.
The quickest thing that came to mind was that I was on my to my mother's house to borrow enough to pay her what I owed. Naturally she wanted me back that very evening with cash in hand but I said to her, "Now would you expect me to visit my sick mother and not spend the evening?"
"Sick you say.  My, my that dear poor woman.  What is it she is ailing of, if my ask?'
"Well she doesn't like me to tell people but she is dying of cancer."
"Is there nothing that can be done?"
"There is but it is quite expensive and she doesn't have the money to pay for the treatment that she needs."
"And your going to take some of what she does have?"
"She said that it doesn't matter because she doesn't have enough for the treatment so I may as well pay my rent so I can have a roof over my head when she dies."
"How much does the poor woman need?"
" If she gets the treatment it will cost $10,000."
"And how long does she have left if she doesn't get the treatment?"
"The doctors said one or two months."
She scratched her head and then said, "You just go on over to see your mother and don't you worry about that rent money.  I'll wait and collect it later."
I went on to the coffee shop feeling quite guilty as my poor sick mother had died many years ago.  When I arrived at the coffee shop my date had stood me up.

I sat in the cold drab night, my temples pulsing with shame and tendrils of guilt stabbing my mind.  I couldn't go to my room and didn't bring a warm coat so I shivered through the night learning a lesson but I'm not sure what,  whether to work and be honest or plan my lies and deceit with a little more guile.  I shivered the night vowing to look for work.

The morning sun and a hot cup of coffee warmed my bones.  I stood on a corner and begged for work with my little sign that said "hungry, will work for food".  I made enough to eat and smoke and maybe buy a beer but I would have to duck and dodge the landlady for at least another day or two.

1 comment:

  1. Ah what a tangled web we weave! It's funny how most of us can conjure up a tale if the moment requires it, but then still feel the associated guilt and remorse that was pounded into us as children. I recall a coworker who kept "killing off" family members so that he could attend "funerals" out of town, until finally the boss began to get suspicous, long after most of us had seen the light and stopped sending flowers and condolences. :-)