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June 22, 2010

Twilight Apartments

As I looked down into the greasy emerald sheen of the pool, I realized that my keys were at least that far away. I'd dropped them down the elevator shaft trying to move out of the Twilight Apartments. I'd run back to my pad to get some kind of instant tool to reach my keys three floors below.

Darnell didn't tell me the hot water would stop and never start again. Nor did he mention any other pool color but green. Darnell was the official apartment manager. His unofficial office was the phone booth just outside the entrance door. No one knew his last name, so he was always just Darnell. Twilight Apartments didn't have leases or rental agreements so residents didn't sign any papers prior to moving in. I had no idea that I'd be the only white blues guitar player in residence, but that fact made my life a lot better. Darnell loved blues guitar. I'd heard of another white resident, but she apparently burned herself up along with most of her apartment... developing pictures. Right.

One morning he tapped on my door, and I opened it to a seriously hurting Darnell. He hadn't been ass-kicked or anything, but he'd mixed drugs so strongly his morning squint had collapsed his whole face nose first. He tried in vain to look cool, and said, "My man, got anything for a my-brain headache?" I bit my lip hard to keep from smiling, and got him some Tylenol.

This epic morning I took another frigid but lightning-quick shower, grabbed a few boxes, and headed for the elevator. Just after I put the boxes down inside, my keys slipped out of my hand and slithered to the edge, and then into the space between the car and the shaft.

As I came back down the walkway to the elevator, I recognized the smell of the pool wafting far up into the day, into my nose, and motivating me to get the hell out of the Twilight Apartments. I'd made a lasso out of some string and a coathanger, so I dropped it down that two-inch-wide slot down to the basement. I'd never been to the basement. Didn't want to. Ever.

A few snags later I had my keys, and I kept moving out. By midafternoon, I was gone.

I called Darnell at his phone booth the next day. The power was cut off a few hours after I was out of there. Too bad. Now the pool light couldn't struggle to shine through the green sheen.

Note: This is a fun piece of fiction that is a collaboration between me and James, my hubby. I started writing and got bogged down, maybe the green pool was just too grungy, so James did some editing and finished the story. We hope you enjoy it.

43 comments:

Ms. Anthropy said...

Ha! I think I might have lived there, back in the day!

savannah said...

i didn't live there, but i knew that sort of place by reputation, of course! ;) xoxoxox

(well done piece of writing, sugarpies!)

Mr. Stupid said...

I never lived there. This was a great piece of writing. Good job!:)

Jeanie said...

Great collaboration. Good imagery and a story that makes me want to hear more.

Shadow said...

i sure did enjoy this. and a good move. the move, that is...

Lori said...

Great story! This did make me think of some of the hell holes I lived in back in the day and people just like this Darnell. :)

Kathy M. said...

I love it! You guys make a hell of a team. But then, you already knew that ;-)

LL Cool Joe said...

Nice one! Glad I didn't live there.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

ewwiesh,.. I would be afraid to swim in that I might come out looking like a greasy reptile or somethin' HAve a beautiful day lady!!!! <3

Brian Miller said...

you know, i may have lived there as well. so neat that you did this one together...going to have to give that a try with T...

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

That pool shouldn't be that green!!! (unless you wanna go the tropical look)

Good piece :)

DJan said...

Oh, the Twilight motel! I remember that place! Great collaboration and it made me want more!

jillsy said...

I'm sure there are plenty of lost souls living in similar Twilight apartments. Great short story!

Rock Chef said...

Luxury...

TALON said...

"green sheen" - that just perfectly describes a nasty pool. What a wonderful collaboration!

I especially liked the desciption of Dranell's face --"...but he'd mixed drugs so strongly his morning squint had collapsed his whole face nose first."

Kristina P. said...

I like it! You are such a talented writer.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I like it a lot, and think you ought to keep writing. The character's interesting--not to mention clever enough to retrieve her keys--and the lifestyle, while repulsive, is also intriguing. What, I can't help but wonder, is an obviously intelligent person doing in a dump like that? Obviously, it wasn't for the pool.

The Urban Cowboy said...

Awesome, you had me going there for a while.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You two are good together! You should collaborate more often.

Love the way you described the "landlord" and the pool. I'm pretty sure I've been to apartments like that before once or twice-- fortunately that was a long time ago.

Hope you and james are having a great week. Chers,
jj

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Cool story....excellent when you can collaborate with your partner on something so interesting

lisleman said...

fortunately I've never had a place that bad. I did live in a mobile home or two before. I've stayed at some shabby hotels too.
interesting read.

James said...

Nicely done! I used to want to write short stories with my wife but I'm a terrible writer. :)

I'm pretty sure that all of the farms in my photos are still working.

The other day I heard my wife laugh and say "Good one" she was reading your comment over my shoulder.
"Where's the gym equipment and the TV?"

Cheryl said...

And I did enjoy it! That pool though....

otin said...

I was wondering if it was fiction or not until I read the end. The pool looks pretty grungy!!

anne h said...

You have the ability to engage "us readers" with your great writing style!
I had a neighbor who LOVED to develop pictures, as well....dangerous hobby, that!

Ronda Laveen said...

I absolutely loved your fiction piece. You collaborate nicley together. I would like reading more.

Bernie said...

This was great, If you hadn't told me it was fiction I would of believed it really happend to you.
.....:-) Hugs

Cinner said...

Loved it, not the pool, great that you did this together, I possibly have lived in this apartment....just in another country. lol. well done.

Robert the Skeptic said...

That was fiction? Interesting. Well my uncle had a pool like that in southern California back when I was a kid. I used to have fun catching water bugs and striders in it.

Opaque said...

"Green sheen" - a nice way to put it

Kazzy said...

I was completely hooked from the start! Cool!

Roxy said...

Now this one brings back a few memories of a particular creepy place I lived in, very briefly. Good story!

Sunshine said...

Hi srry couldnt come earlier working on my blog so how's everything going on? Made some changes to my blog give me some feedback on it pls..!
love
Sabi

Jeni said...

Very good piece, my dear! Now, did I understand this correctly that this was a piece of fiction you wrote, had a bit of brain deadness and James then stepped in, gave you some refreshers here and there and then the two of you finished it or was this actually a true story that you ran into a little bit of a bind with the telling of the tale? Either way, it was damned good and quite the story!

lisleman said...

Please stop by and share a song title - hey it much much easier than cleaning that pool

Mama Zen said...

I think I visited there once or twice!

Maggie May said...

I thought this was true at first! I tend to take things face value!
Great piece of writing.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Suldog said...

It's a great piece. Where is that green pool, in reality? Your place? I hope not!

Unknown Mami said...

Well done. Nice collaboration!

KleinsteMotte said...

This caught my attention and I just had to read it because it's that good. Fiction that mirrors reality so truthfully. Then I went and joined the hubby's blog!!Thanks.

Julie said...

Awesome. I love the story, and I love the green pool. It's so cool that you collaborated with your husband to write it. You two make a great team!

Syd said...

This is a great story. Whew--glad that you were able to get the keys and move out. The pool itself is pretty creepy.

Mrs4444 said...

How fun! I totally thought it was a true story and was going to compliment you on the persistence in getting those keys!