Sunday, December 6, 2009

Apartment 22

Jorge climbed the stairs of the tenement apartment building whose walls were as thin as whispers, and he heard snippets of each family’s life as he ascended the stairwell. His feet made the worn wood bow slightly and they groaned and creaked for no one. The hallways were dark and scattered with mouse droppings, smelled of decay. Garbage cluttered the corners and broken toys lay on dirty floor like orphans.

The death of sounds was common here. No one cared where they went or who made them unless it disturbed their sleeping habits. It wasn’t uncommon to eat lunch to the sound of gunfire or hang the clothes in the apartment to dry, listening to the sound of fists contacting a face. He lamented the fact that this life had taken away their compassion and left them numb to atrocities in their own backyards. But this was what he could afford on his meager pension from the mill. He could do no better than this and it made him hang his head slightly.

On the fourth floor, he stopped. From apartment 22 came a noise he was not accustomed to hearing. It drew him closer to the door with its peeling burgundy paint and lopsided, black metal numbers. It was music. It was tender and passionate and he hovered at the door silently, aware of the space around his body as it filled with warmth at his own excitement. He leaned in with his ear pressed to the jamb forgetting about the building’s filth, forgetting that many would sooner shoot you than look at you if you came close to their doors, but he could not draw away….not yet.

Jorge placed his hand against the beveled wooden face of the door. He held his breathe to not miss a sound. He felt as if his entire body were set afire right there in the dank hall. He felt his cock twinge between his legs at these sounds. He felt like a man for the first time in many years, thought about his youth and how he spent many nights with women clutched in his arms, sliding deep into them, enjoying the musk of their bodies and how their mouths let out the music of their sex. Those were good times. They were nothing now.

Notes escaped from the cracks around the door spilling into the stale, heavy air of the hallway. They were sweet melodic effluvia that danced in the air, kissing his face, and Jorge knew at once it was a woodwind. He listened carefully as the woman, yes….he was sure it was a woman playing, blew into the instrument. It is a flute, he thought.

He imagined the delicious pucker of her lips pursed over the curved hole. He heard the deftness of her fingers as the padded keys brushed down onto the silver body covering the holes where air would stretch into music. He could hear the sole of her shoe lightly tapping on the hardwood and imagined her graceful neck and slender fingers. Jorge closed his eyes and drank her music imagining the swell of her breasts as she inhaled to put strength behind the notes. He wondered what it would be like to run his hand up her knee while she played a melody for him, just for him.

His body betrayed him with its mind of its own. His skin was warm and his face flushed. Jorge felt himself tremor all over and noticed he was hard as a stone and standing like a lecherous old man at some young girl’s door, when the landlord lumbered up the stairs and saw him there. Jorge could tell she was drunk, could smell her from the top of the stairs where she stood holding herself up on the railing. She had a devious look. She was a devil.

“What the hell are you doing there?”

“Nothing…eh…nothing ma’am.” Jorge said looking away.

“By the looks of the party in your pants, it does not look like you were doing nothing Jorge. You’re a dirty old man leaning against the door, huddled in the corner stroking yourself like a peeping Tom. I should kick you out, or better yet post your sad face in the lobby as a pervert, but you pay on time so I will just remember this. You will owe me big time,” the landlord scolded him like a child.

“I am going now, up to my apartment. I am sorry. I didn’t mean anything. The music put me in a trance.” Jorge tried to explain, but the landlord just looked at his pants with a grin of a wolf. She licked her lips and smiled showing her poorly kept teeth, released another wave of her pickled insides into the air for him to choke on. Jorge looked down to see the pleats of his trousers tented like the pants of a young man and a wet spot forming there like a lewd death for everyone to see.

Jorge felt his excitement fade and wished his cock would shrivel back to its cotton grave. He wanted nothing to do with this weak excuse for a woman. She was wasted in more ways than one. He wanted the dove behind the door, wanted to kiss her skin and please her….take her from this wretched place, but he said nothing more as he looked at the door again.

He hung his head as he walked past the landlord avoiding her intensions. Now he would never know her beauty. Jorge reluctantly left the woman of his dreams with her music and her body of grace and her answer to the reawakening of his heart and trudged past more death to his own.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Not From Here, Are You? 6/09

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