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[8 | Move-In Day] Download or Read PDF
J.F. stands in the lobby near the vestibule. He is waiting for his turn to speak to the girl sitting in her office. He cannot see her yet, but he can hear her soft and enticing voice. It seems she is having a lively conversation with an older lady, a lady J.F. thinks has the scent of death upon her. He starts feeling paranoid as if the two women can read his mind, and just as he thinks it, the older lady turns and looks at him.
(Was that a coincidence? I wouldn’t put it past these old-timers to have some sort of clairvoyance. Look at her face; it is as if it is decaying while still living, like a fresh tomato with a single moldy spot stuck in it. What is this pointless jargon they are discussing anyway? I hope it is more than just daily gossip.)
It is unclear to J.F. whether the young girl is irritated or thoroughly enjoying the tête-à-tête.
The two of them continue to ramble on with little concern for the man in the lobby who may actually have real business to attend to. J.F. starts to make out some of the conversation, but most of it is being spoken purposely low, so he and other tenants passing by cannot hear.
Typically, J.F. is a very patient man except when people are disrespectful to others; this is when he becomes impatient. He begins to pace a little to try and draw awareness when he is reminded of the need to appreciate patience. He quotes himself: (Life is short and getting somewhere quickly takes away the joy of arriving. Dr. James Francis Quasar)
J.F. cups his hands behind his back like a monk and walks over to a chair to take up residence until the gossiping discontinues. He then silently thanks the ladies for giving him a chance to practice patience once more. (Thank you, ladies. My apologies for my disrespect and irritation. For I am only a man, and an insignificant one at best.)
He takes a moment to do some deep breathing meditation and says under his breath, “Whenever you are feeling rushed, slow down – slow down.” Simultaneously, he reduces and controls his breathing and relaxes all muscles. (What seems like a pointless conversation may be a conversation that makes this ladies day, and or is a discussion of much greater importance than my own.)
While waiting, J.F. slips into a deep relaxation. He becomes tranquil and pretends he is a master Buddhist becoming one with the oversized Victorian chair. Once his mind is cleared, he looks around the room and analyzes it using his mathematical brain. (There are two hallways separated by a wall with a large half elliptical table pushed up against it. Above the table is a large rectangular mirror with a gold plate carve design. Down the halls, the mailroom appears to be connected in a U shape with the mailboxes lined up and down the wall between the hallways’ exits. There are more mirrors across the room, all having different geometric shapes, circular, elliptical, triangular. An odd assortment of mirrors. I wonder who decorated this place and how long ago that was.)
“Hello there, young man.” J.F. is startled by a man sitting in the chair against the opposite wall. The man is draped in thick black clothing with long hair and beard, sunglasses, and a fedora. Sitting aside him are two little white dogs. (I must have spaced out for a minute while this person snuck in. Odd, I am usually more than aware of others lurking about. Particularly when accompanied by animal.)
“Afternoon.” “Thanks. Are you waiting to speak to Elevyn?” “Yes, I think so. Elevyn is the lady in the office, correct?” “Yes, she is. Are you new here?” “Yes, I am moving in today, just waiting to get my keys.” “Excellent. Let me guess, Unit 6140?” “That’s the one.” “Only unit for sale, right?” “I suppose so.” “I am also on the 6th floor. Say, you a Whiskey man or a Gin man?”
The girl comes out of her office and interrupts the short conversation and asks, “Are you, James?” “Yes, but please call me J.F.” “Okay, great, I can see you now. My name is Elevyn.”
The girl looks deep into his eyes and smiles at him. “Weird.”
He felt a calm sensation take over his body when she looked at him. It’s as if he knows her from somewhere. He imagines where he may have met her in the past. (She must be about twenty-five years old, I bet. Could I have met her when I lived here before? I doubt it; she would have been, probably, only ten at the time. Hmmm. I will have to make it a point to come and flirt with her regularly and find out who she reminds me of.)
While he follows Elevyn into the office, he hears the man say, “I’ll see you halfway up.” J.F. turns around to say goodbye to the strange man and his dogs, but he was already gone.
(It appears he disappeared as fast as he appeared.)
J.F. follows Elevyn into her office and sits down at her desk. While waiting for her to gather the appropriate documents, he examines every little facial expression she makes.
(Gosh. She is so adorable. Yep. I am in love. She is the one.)
Elevyn continues gathering everything.
While J.F. waits, he sees another opportunity to exercise patience, so he contemplates what the man meant by “halfway up.” (He must mean there are 12 floors, so 6 is halfway, but if you consider the basement a layer, then the 12th floor is the 13th floor or if one considers the 12th floor as the 1st floor—counting down—then, twelve floors down makes the basement the 13th floor. Maybe that is the real 13th floor superstition so that all buildings with only 12-floors actually have a 13th floor if they have a basement, and since most consider the first floor the floor that is sea-level, the basement would have to be floor negative 1, that is, the basement is equal to -1. Now, since the number line is subjective to direction, we see that the real initial starting position would have to be the top floor going in. Then the basement is thus, the 13th floor. Hmmm)
Elevyn interrupts his excessive thinking by putting papers out to sign. She pushes the forms across the desk and tilts her head in a shy way. He listens to her and explains specific concerns that the board has addressed, such as move-in/out times, noise control, and so forth.
J.F. becomes distracted by people continuously passing through the lobby. One tenant barges into the office and interrupts the two of them to inform Elevyn. “Can you believe it? Someone is smoking marijuana. I can smell it in the halls. RIDICULOUS!” He finds the woman’s concern odd since her breath reeks of beer and cigarettes. He looks at her and thinks, “Crazy old hypocritical bitch.” He then says, “You know, Marijuana has been decriminalized in Dane County. They have every right to smoke it, just as much as you have a right to burn those cigarettes. And you don’t actually have the right since it is illegal to smoke within 10-feet of a door. Therefore, it is just as illegal for you to smoke tobacco in here as them smoking a little pot.” The lady gives J.F. a look that screams: I am a privileged white lady. How dare you speak to me in any other fashion than your lips glued to my ass.
Elevyn quickly diffuses what might have become an argument between J.F. and the lady. She responds with the utmost pleasantry: “Becky, I will reach out to them and see what I can do after I finish up here.”
J.F. listens closely while observing every little thing Elevyn does. (The way she carries herself is reminiscent of an angel. She must be someone that is truly impervious to negativity—almost as if she converts negative energy into positive energy. I absolutely adore that quality in a person. I need to work harder on accepting people and not forcing my thoughts on them.)
The lady walks off, and Elevyn says, “Sorry about that. Some of the people that live in the building have convinced themselves that their opinions are facts.” She says this with a sly smirk as if she and J.F. now have an inside secret.
He asks Elevyn, with a clearly sarcastic yet somewhat serious tone, “Do you guys keep a liquor cabinet back there? It is almost noon after all.” She laughs with enthusiasm and says, with hinting honesty, “Sometimes I feel I could use one too, if you get my drift.” “If I had to deal with these nagging old farts every day, I would keep a bottle of Wild Turkey and a gun in the drawer.” “Oh, they aren’t so bad. You just got to think of them as if they are children—like this is a preschool, and they are students learning how to deal with responsibilities and others for the first time. Then, suddenly you see the truth, and they won’t bother you. Maybe wear you out a bit, but just remind yourself that they are little kids that haven’t grown up yet. After all, most of them have never really been part of actual society, so they never learned how to properly socialize. Just rich and privileged or drunk and ignorant, not much of a difference, I suppose. High-horse syndrome—I call it. So, you’ll need to sign here, here, and initial here and here.” J.F. jokingly says, “Don’t I get a chance to read this?” But it wasn’t taken that way. “Of course, Hun, take all the time you need.”
J.F. senses the misunderstanding. He doesn’t want her to think of him as one of these anal people, so he says, “I am just joking.” Life is too short to read. He then signs and initials while saying, “Get me that drink. Let’s celebrate!” Elevyn responds, with a concerning look, “James Francis: you should hold off on the ethanol.” (Does she know something about me—my drinking problem?” She then says, “Until we get some ice.”, and laughs. “James. Why did she call me James Francis? I only let the woman I am in love with use my middle name. She said it so provocatively too. Is she flirting with me?)
He laughs and smiles at her. They share a brief moment of eye-to-eye contact, then Elevyn breaks the contact and invites J.F. for a tour of the building. He doesn’t want to leave her presence; he feels the inevitable hurt of losing her before he even has had a chance to be with her. He reminds himself: (Every time I feel something special for a girl, when they see me drunk, it is all over.)
J.F. has become hardened over the years, abandoning all hopes of real love. It has been constant agony for him. He thinks to himself, (If only the girl would give me a chance and look past my lust for alcohol. She would see how perfect I am for her. I mean, what girl wouldn’t want a man to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for her and then have multiple orgasms for dessert. If only she knew that nothing in life would ever be as important to me as her—if only. But they always find me drunk, and it creeps them out. ‘Hell. I was just drunk, dam it. You cannot hold me accountable for my actions while under the influence.’ I am not violent nor verbally abusive—I just say shit that makes people think and question themselves—a bad habit. I guess most people don’t like to think, they just wanna be told what to do and believe in the lie.’)
He starts to feel his heart beat faster. His thoughts are getting him excited, so he stops them and takes a deep breath while relaxing all his muscles, “It is alright. I like to mosey about and make discoveries on my own.”
She doesn’t realize that he wants the tour, but he also wants to get away. He doesn’t want to give her a chance to be turned off by him. He is already feeling the sensation in the pit of his stomach; the thought of her leaving him after he has fallen deeply in love with her is upsetting him before it has even happened.
She takes it upon herself to negate his comment and says, “Follow me, James.” while she gets out of her chair and walks out of the office. He turns to see her walk out the door with the most appealing left and right gallops of the hips. J.F. revisits his head, (Yep. I am in love. Fuck. I hope I don’t mess it up. ‘Just don’t text or email or call or talk to her if you have been drinking then.’ ‘Easier said than done.’ ‘She probably has a boyfriend anyway. They always have a boyfriend.’ ‘Yea, I know. I hate that. I wish people would just hold out for the right one.’ ‘Yea, but most people are just human-animals working off of instinct. They couldn’t acknowledge what love is if they tried. Just programmed vessels of flesh operating on an organic system and O.O.S. – Organic Operating System or is it Software? I forget. I hope she isn’t a human. I really get the most tantalizing sense of comfort being near her.’ ‘Did you smell her as she passed by. Erghhh, I just wanna make love to her right now and for the next year straight. She is so beautiful.’ ‘Dude. Take a break. Relax and forget about it. You know how this will end. Just be happy you are not in jail and can still have a cocktail. Besides, you will never accomplish your physics research if you are balls deep in a broad every day.’)
He cuts his brain off and follows Elevyn to the mailroom while examining her back and the curvatures leading to her thighs and then recalls: (When my lifelong journey of physics and drinking began back in my early twenties, I made a sort of oath to swear off women. Still, I am seriously thinking about making an attempt with this one.)
She finishes showing him where everything is in the lobby and points out where the elevators are. Then explains, that two of them he doesn’t need a key for, and one of them he does. He walks over to the elevator area to investigate, but she does not follow. He turns thinking she would be next to him, but she is still in the main area of the lobby, so he walks back to her, and she continues to explain the rest of the building’s layout.
Once finished with the tour, she hands him the keys placing them onto his palm, purposely putting her fingers to his skin. As she releases the keys, she slowly drags her fingertips across his hand, gliding over the solar plexus. The creases between his fingers blindly lead hers. Just as her nails gently scrape the tips of his fingers and their contact breaks, she tilts her head down and looks up to J.F. as to say, “I love you to.”
The instant their skin breaks contact, J.F. feels as if he is in an antigravity chamber, floating in the voids of space, and the only thing present is the thumping beat of his heart. Then Elevyn says, “I will leave you to get settled into your new home. We did receive your rocking chair, bed, and bedding, by the way. I took the liberty of washing your comforters and sheets for you. I also laid out the mattress and prepared your bed for you. I hope that is alright? I got your packages while you were traveling across the country and wanted you to have everything set up before you arrived.” “You did! Wow, that is amazing. Thank you so much. I am in desperate need of a nap.” “Let me know if you need anything else, James.” “Will do. It was very nice to meet you, Elevyn.” “Please, call me Ella, James Francis.”
(She did it again. I think she really likes me. Maybe moving back here wasn’t such a bad idea Afterall. I really hope I don’t blow it. I would knock her up right now and head to city hall to tie the knot if she were willing.)
While J.F. fantasizes, Elevyn walks back into the office, leaving him stranded in the middle of the lobby. He watches her godlike body strut off and imagines her draped in a wedding gown showing the slightest hint of a pregnant belly.
[8.1 | Reflections or Delusions]
(Alrighty then. New home. New land. Beautiful receptionist lady or is she management? I am not sure what the title of such a job is. Whatever. What is with all these dam mirrors everywhere? At least they are clean.)
A squeak pierces J.F.’s ears and then another. (It must be a wheel that needs oiling.) He cringes at the sound. He searches for the direction of it calculating sound wave diffractions to determine to origin. (It appears to be coming from around the U-shaped mailroom area.)
The squeaks become louder and louder, and with sharper frequency, emanating mostly from the mailroom’s right hallway entrance. Each succession becomes shriller as the soundwaves resonate between the mailboxes and mirrors. J.F. scrunches his face from the pain of it piercing his eardrums. After the harshest of all the squeaks hits him, the next one is dispersed throughout the whole lobby, not causing him any discomfort. Then, coming around the corner, a blue maintenance cart pops into view.
An older black man wheeling a maintenance cart appears. He wears a blue jumpsuit that hangs off his arms like curtains as they slowly push the cart forward. J.F. can see the age in his face and thinks to himself, that it is an aged look of wisdom, and that he’d like to know this man.
“Howdy.” Said the old man to J.F. “Hey there. How are you?” “Quite well. Just doing my rounds.” “I’m J.F. – just moved in.” “Nice to meet you there, son.” His name tag reads Clancy. “You as well. Clancy is it then?” “Hey, you know it. Welcome home.”
The man pulls out a spray bottle of bluish-green liquid intended for cleaning the mirrors. He begins spraying an undampened towel with the chemical and says to J.F. as the mist floats through the air, “Gotta be able to see yo-self before you can find yo-self.” He then turns and begins cleaning a large rectangular mirror
While Clancy is facing the mirror, J.F. continues observing him. He has his right hand raised up, slowly wiping a cloth in a circular motion. He stops for a second and makes eye-contact with J.F. through the reflection of the mirror and says, “In order to see, one must open their eyes.”, and then goes back to cleaning.
(In order to see, one must open their eyes? What an oddly obvious thing to say; something that has extremely profound meaning yet no meaning at all. I like this guy. He thinks the way I do.)