Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DeMille Dwellings: The Guy Who Lives In The Garage.

He prowls at night, that I know because I see him when I'm taking my garbage out. The first couple of times, he scared the living bejesus out of me. It was a dark and stormy November night…. (no, actually, it was April. I told you I have a weird predilection for overplay when it comes to language).

Whatever--it was night and dark and I was out back dumping my trash. This being an apartment complex of sorts, we don't have normal cans. We have the supersize bins with the lids that require brute strength to tip up. The kind where bodies and hacked limbs are being found. Every week the garbage master comes around with his huge truck, from which he thrusts two vicious metal prongs into slots in the bottom of the dumpster, which is then hauled up skyward until it is just hovering over the gaping maw of the truck, when the lid flies open and there is an avalanche of big black bags and medium white bags and little beige bags from the grocery stores along with tiny bags of dog shit and candy wrappers and snot rags and rubbers (the condom kind) and the aforementioned body parts and who knows what else, and then ever so gently, like a tender lover after he's finished, the metal prongs move the bin down, down, down until it is resettled on the ground and the prongs recede and the truck drives away and that is garbage collection for another week.

The Guy who Lives in the Garage watches TV on a 5" portable he's spliced into one of the fuse boxes out back. I've watched him watching. He's partial to I Love Lucy reruns and he seems to lose himself in them. He'll hunch forward on his chair as if to get right into the screen. When the payoff comes, he'll scoot back and throw his head up and his laugh both looks and sounds like a braying donkey.

Last night he entertained a guest down there. It was The Waif from across the way. She's a pathetic little creature who barely has the energy to breath vital air. She's all promise and no realization.

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