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the man upstairs

July 3, 2008

When you move in, I just can’t believe it. You are tall, long blond hair, round lens, ride a Harley and are a biologist. And a bartender on the weekends. Of course there is a girl whom you have loved forever and a wife you were married to that produced a little girl who is half japanese and half of you. There is this terrible racket upstairs for days and days and days. When I come up to ask what all the noise is about you show me the bed you made, yourself out of logs in your tiny studio that has one foot in the hood for real and one foot in the old glamour of our city.

You and I become friends. Of course you put some moves on me but I have come to think it is just part of your job description. An expectation that all men and women have of you because you are so beautiful. It seems unreal that you are as good looking as you are and I can’t believe that you are interested in me and so luckily, I don’t ever really believe it and you don’t ever really break my heart. I know what it is and am okay with it. We only hook up a few times and I feel bad because you do have a girlfriend but the thing of it is,  I don’t believe that I am the only one like this. There is no way. You must have a string of them somewhere. How could you not? You are charming, funny and not at all stuck up about your drop deadness. You look at me when I talk and think or at least act as though it is all fascinating.

I ride on the back of your Harley all the way to PA to visit your daughter at your parents house. I get the feeling you don’t see her much and am too young and afraid to ask why. My long curly hair becomes so hopelessly tangled whipping behind me for the 2 hour tour over the back roads that it almost masks the beating of my heart out of my chest because I have never been on a bike like that. I was so convinced we were going to crash and die, my limbs torn off my young body that my natty hair was at the bottom of my list of things to worry about. My rosy cheeks of fear outshone my ratty do and the blankness of my mind too overcome with eminent death to allow me to say anything obnoxious or inappropriate so I am unusually quiet and subdued.

You move out and I move on to another Mark. There were many Marks, for some reason and none turned out to be a good idea in general. After cooking a crazy fancy feast for one Mark and just as he told me he had to go because it was 9:30 and he has plans to meet someone later. I say, Like a date? And he says, Nah, just some friends. I say, Um, I thought this is what you had planned. He tells me, well, I have two things and I am busy tonight, so, gotta go.

Just as one of the Marks puts down his napkin and I am sitting across from him with the lingering smells of my garlic chicken dinner and strawberry shortcake in my nose and my mouth agape with shock the door bangs open so loudly we both jump!

“NIC!” my old neighbor shouts and sees me sitting in the dining room and races down the stairs and scoops me up into his arms and twirls me around kissing me. Just like in a goddamned movie. I yell his name and kiss him again genuinely happy to see him. He puts me down and without noticing that one Mark sitting at my table proceeds to tell me all about his new job and apartment and the girl he is living with and I how great I look and what am I doing tonight because he wants to go see this band and do I want to come. I look over at one of the Marks, now sitting with his mouth agape I tell him it looks like I do not have any plans.

My ex-hunk looks over at the one Mark and gives him a casual Hey Man, and then looks back at me. He kisses me again like a brother on the cheek and says how great it is too see me and do I have his mail? He doesn’t want to forget it.

The one Mark gets up to leave and we all walk out together. I get onto the back of the Harley and put on my helmet and we pull away. I wave at the one Mark and think to my self, this is the only proof of jesus I have ever had.

So thank you, jesus.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2008 4:57 pm

    What an amazing story — hooray for savior Mark!

  2. July 6, 2008 9:06 pm

    Love the last two lines.

  3. July 7, 2008 6:47 pm

    No, it’s just sacrilegious enough. Reminds me of intro to “Girl with Far Away Eyes” by the Rolling Stones.

    Take care.

  4. July 8, 2008 4:32 am

    Fabulous Karma

  5. July 14, 2008 12:54 pm

    For you Mark….for me Mike….

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