Yes, there’s a number after the title, which must mean there’s another story that you should have read first if you want to have any idea what this one is about. No, I’m not giving you a recap. I slaved away to make that first story. Do me the honor of scrolling down to the previous one (or clicking on the link) and reading it, you lazy, good-for-nothing . . . ahem. For those of you still paying attention, let’s proceed.
Monday morning - First day on the job.
They scheduled me to go into work at 8:30am. I had set my alarm clock for 6:00 since I would be taking public transportation and I needed to time myself on this first day to know how long it would take to get downtown. I woke up at 5:30 because, by the oddities of my internal body clock, I always end up waking a good 15-30 minutes before the alarm clock actually rings.
My work clothes sat on the bed, appropriately a black skirt and gold top (hey, this is Pittsburgh - Steelers/Penguins - it’s almost a freaking tradition to wear sports colors on the first day for good luck). I walked into the bathroom, stripped down to my birthday suit, and stood in the tub as I twirled on the faucets.
An ominous rumbling sounded below. The hot water did not come out. As for the cold, the droplets immediately froze when leaving the showerhead as jagged icicles flew toward my unprotected body. Ripping down the shower curtain, I screamed and dived out the tub.
Yes, the water lines had burst. AGAIN. Due to the marvels of plumbing stupidity, they had run the copper pipes right up against the COLD BRICK walls of the house without adding INSULATION. And because the DRUG ADDICTS kept busting in the door and windows, there was no way to trap any HEAT downstairs to keep the pipes from FREEZING!
I guess you can tell I’m still miffed over this. The situation had happened four times while living at this place despite leaving the faucets on at a steady, Niagra-fall, drip. And the ironic part about it was that the pipes for the cold water never froze. It was always the hot water line.
Sighing, I phoned the apartment manager about the problem and then went into the kitchen. Filling three large pots with water, I set them on the stove and brought them to a raging boil. Then I carefully carried them into the bathtub, used the one pot as soap water to get myself lathered up, and then dumped the other two potfuls over my head for the basic rinse.
I dried off and went to get dressed, only to discover my clothes had gone missing. I searched high and low for them, ignoring the flashes of light through the window from the neighboring house. I knew I didn’t have enough money to pay them off for the scandalous naked photos but figured it could only help with my modeling (or porn) career if they posted them online. And either way, I’d make money to pay off the stupid gas bill.
I walked back into the bedroom and stared at the bed while scratching my head, wondering where my clothes went. Then I wondered when I had bought the orange-brown comforter. Two seconds later, something moved.
Rabbit jumped from the layers of shedding fur on the bed. He hopped across the room to my leg and rubbed up against me, purring with his stubby tail flicking. Then he hopped into the kitchen for his breakfast of cold green beans in his food dish.
Sighing for the second time that morning, I unearthed my clothes and shook out the hair before getting dressed. Then I retrieved the duct tape and wrapped it around my body like a mummy ready for entombment before ripping tape and fur (and lots of skin - hey, I wanted to be thorough) from my clothes. I wouldn’t have minded the cat hair if I would be working in a pet store or a veterinary clinic. But the people at my new place of employment might look askance at my fur coat, and I didn’t want to come home dripping in red paint.
Meanwhile, for the entire morning, I had been listening to an unusual sound outside. Shraaak-click! I never heard anything like it before (well, later, I remembered that I did hear it during my childhood but at that moment I had forgotten about it). With my mind going through all the possible scenarios, I finally concluded it was someone outside trimming his hedges.
Dressed, primped, and ready to take on the world, I rushed out the door and merrily started walking down the sidewalk. When only twenty paces from the apartment, I heard the disturbing sound.
Shraaak-click! Zing! Ping!
Well, I certainly didn’t hear the zinging sound from inside the apartment. But I, sure as hell, heard it when something streaked so close to my right ear that my body flinched to the side in a complete circle. Then I heard the accompanying ping as something struck the vacant house at the other side of the intersection.
That’s right, everyone. Someone had shot at my head while I was on my way to work.
An omen? No. I knew what was going on now when I heard scampering feet and a door close. And I recognized the noises for what they were. A BB gun. Some punk ass kid had skipped school and thought it would be fun to go shooting at houses and people.
I was fuming mad and debating if I should track the numb nut down and shove the pointy end of my high heels up a certain place. The thought did briefly enter my mind on calling the police, but they had other things on their minds like the shootout going on three blocks away with some robber who held up a drugstore. Besides, I was running late for work and I didn’t want to make a bad impression. So I hopped on the bus and headed out, believing that my day had to get better.
Oh, I was so wrong.
End of part two. You’ll get part three whenever I feel like writing it. Stop glaring! It’s well worth the wait.