Awakened at nine
I was awakened at nine with the annoying ringing of my phone. And whom should it be, none other than Frank, from down the hall. He talks and talks and talks some more and then he is gone, the phone is now quiet, I close it and lay it on the table beside my bed.
I dress, in my flannel pajama bottoms and a comfortable old white t-shirt with stains on the front. I head for the bathroom and when finished, I find myself once again in the kitchen. The test strip is set in the meter, the finger is pricked, and blood flows, and the analysis begins, magically the number 198 appears on the display.
Knocks, knocks, knocks so softly beaten, on the door I could barely hear them. I hear the knocking again, I open the door, and there stands Frank. He holds a plate, and on the plate a huge slab of cheese so blue, and a brown mound of meat. Frank reaches over and grabs his coffee from the mailboxes and boldly marches in and sits proudly at the table as if he were a peacock displaying his wondrous tail of plumage. I scurry towards the kitchen to save the cheese so blue on the plate, from the meat grease so red.
I hear him say, “I just love doughnuts, and I will be so bold as to take one. I hope you don’t mind.”
I return to the table with my insulin and syringe. He flips open the box and admires the sugary glistening yeast doughnuts. Then without any shame, he picks up the fattest, plumpest one in the box and only after he has removed and placed his false teeth in his lap, begins to devour it morsel by morsel, all the while talking incessantly about this and that.
I fill the syringe with insulin and then with great flare I stick it in my arm making a big deal out of it.
“Oh my, I just hate needles,” he says and shivers, he sits there in the blue armchair with a signature of papers in his hand and proceeds to tell me to go here and do this. Then after thanksgiving go see the Catholics they will give you a box of clothes.
Well you know how I am; I don’t like being pressured into doing anything. So all he has told or is about to tell me won’t be done by me, anytime soon.
Moreover, as I try to tell him how I came about the box of doughnuts that sat so prominently on my table. He rudely interrupts me and begins to tell his own little story; it takes me four tries before I am able to finish telling my sad little tale of woe.
Frank sits up straight, opens his eye wide, and exclaims, “all summer long I have had my patio set up and lavishly appointed, and you of all people did not venture down, to sit in my little walled in area, and drink frozen whatever’s with me.” Then he tells me how disappointed he was.
I tell him that going out is extremely difficult for me, seeing how I don’t like to be among people, I like the quiet, I like being alone with my thoughts so noble.
Then out of nowhere, he begins to tell me about Jim our next-door neighbor and how he screwed over Sue his roommate and how with her there he had it made…
I rudely and abruptly cut him off. “Frank,” I said, looking him in the eyes, “if it doesn’t occur within the confines of my apartment I don’t care what transpires.”
Then without missing a beat, he begins again the gay flamer up on the third floor… I take a drink of my coffee and slowly shake my head. I’m now told about the numerous calls he made early in the morning, wanting Frank to let him in building, and then he asks me” Did the flamer knock on my window and ask me to let him in.”
I shake my head no…
“Oh my,” he added. “I’ve been up since four this morning cooking down a pumpkin so I can make pumpkin pies for thanksgiving,” then he points his boney finger at me, and says, “Reheat the meatloaf, bake a potato, have it for dinner, and of course have some mixed vegetables along with it.”
God I am so bored with his visit. I tell him about my experience at giant eagle. And of course, he tells me another tale of woe, which is always worse than my tales of woe, and therefore; more important.
And to know all of this had to happen to me before 10 o’clock in the morning.
As a side note, he gave me a quart of this pumpkin he had cooked down; the pumpkin was burnt, it had too much spice, and the texture was grainy as sawdust. I did the only thing possible with it I could have done, without a second thought or speck of remorse it went down the drain.
And all of this drama before 10 in the morning I will think twice about opening the door before noon for anyone who knocks as softly as Frank does.