Skip to main content

Featured

Hey, Lyosha

There are prison tattoos on the backs of his hands. Faded, blotchy shapes and a finger that jabs at a phone. "Hey, Lyosha!" He shouts, as every face on the bus swings to him. There is no answer, no voice on the other side. "Lyosha." He says again, then stares angrily out the windows. I step on someone's foot by accident, apologizing quickly. The young man waves his hand as if to say I did not need to say anything. The man with the tattoos sips from a giant cup of soda from KFC that is balanced on the empty seat next to him.

We pass a hotel we used to live next to, where expensive escorts are ferried in and out like yachts in a harbor. There is a fresh line of flags snapping in a low wind, and an American one is curiously absent. Plenty of the businessmen behind those windows are from the states.

The man brandishes the phone and hands it to the young man in front of me. I did not see that one coming. The young man wipes invisible dust from it, a reserved frown …

girlfriend experience


The new neighbor is a single woman. We have seen her a handful of times, once with a tiny dog barking wildly as the elevator doors opened on our floor. Another time, she opened her apartment door to pay for a pizza delivery. She was in a robe, as is common here. Her face is always down, messy hair falling across it, no hello, no familiar nod, no eye contact.

There is no loud tv we hear through the walls we share with her. The dog only barks during the day, when I assume it is alone. There are no eavesdropped arguments like the previous tenants, a young couple. The girlfriend threatened to go and live with her mother which we assume happened in the end. There is no sticky smell of pot wafting under the door, no drunken toasts, no parties with friends.

Every Thursday night at about 1am, there is a heavy thumping against the living room wall. It is rhythmic, almost athletic. There are cries and moans, all her. Ugly, harsh sounds as if her leg is broken. It all stops abruptly, as oddly as it began. There is no other voice, just hers. This odd ritual goes on for weeks, a near-perfect repetition, a carbon copy. Of course it is bizarre to hear things so clearly, and we can only imagine what she might say if she knew that the walls are so thin. And then, the mind wanders as it always does. Is she someone's mistress? Is she waiting for this visit the entire week? Or is she a prostitute with a regular client? Does she have a lover that visits her the same night each week? The answer hangs in the air, a fly buzzing around our heads refusing to pass through the crack of a window and disappear.

Over time, the performance grows especially hard to listen to, such a personal moment being broadcast. Once, or randomly it would not even register but the same weeknight, the duplicate pattern of moans, the predictable lurch, the sudden silence, it must be a script of some kind. Maybe they know we can hear them and do not care, or maybe they want us to. Nothing will be answered, none of it. That is a common phenomenon here.

The parade may be real, the guns may be loaded or it is all a big show.

Comments

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs