February 25, 2013 by misterblank22
Snow fell onto the city in bulk; each snowflake’s unique shape was destroyed from the impact of its landing. Cars sped past me on the city streets as if each minute was somehow shorter than the one before it. The street lights were in complete contrast to the grayness that winter brought. Wind from all directions smacked me in the face and threw littered papers into the air. The night before was weighting on me like a thousand tons of steel. I couldn’t shake the mystery of those pieces of paper.
What could the three symbolize? Three papers with three sentences written on each could not be a coincidence. What could be the significance of three?
I made it underground past the dark shadows and even darker locals of the subway. Everyone coughed and moaned in the extreme cold. Some dropped a quarter or two into the cups of the homeless before going on their way. I’d have done the same if I wasn’t as close to their position as I was. All I needed was the slightest push and I would be right there with them bundled in torn rags with a cup in my hand.
The subway car was surprisingly vacant, well as vacant as a subway car can be. There was a young couple locking lips in the corner while an older man set reading a newspaper, the rest were just copies of other regular individuals that serve no purpose of describing. Then from the next car over came a tall bearded man littered in crumbs. His long dark black coat was buttoned to the top allowing only portions of his beard to hang out from around the collar. Out of all the seats in the car he picked the one right next to me.
For several minutes we rode in awkward silence. He occasionally took a long sigh of boredom while I continually checked my watch for some reassurance that time would somehow speed up. He then leaned near me to speak, his teeth were bright yellow.
“Been here five minutes man, you’re watch aint going nowhere.” He smiled ear to ear.
“Yeah, I know, I just, you know how you figure it’ll somehow speed up.” I said.
“No. I don’t wear a watch and only did once. Why would I put something on my wrist that would dictate my entire day for me? You have to be crazy to believe in 12 numbers and three hands.” It was a simple and innocent thing to say but I realized that he said three. The number immediately shot me back to those strange pages on my desk.
“Yeah, it just helps me get to places on time.”
“Places don’t go anywhere son, it’s the people that do the going, times just the middle man. You like to carry that time around on your wrist. Do you think times gonna get away?” He said as he pointed to my watch. I looked at him in wonder.
Once the doors opened we both left in opposite directions. He climbed up several stairs and disappeared around a corner. I maneuvered through the mass of people and onto the city street. I looked down at my watch, I was not late but better yet time had not left my side.
Much like the man on the subway said the place I was supposed to be had not moved neither did the trash that lined the nearby streets. Around me were hundreds of people all trying to beat their clocks to that unmoved destination.
Inside the building creaked. The floor popped and moaned as if it was going to break after every step I took. The place was ripped from the Victorian era in every design ranging from the low door handles to the burgundy walls. It had become a place for the seedy to hangout and the artistic to admire.
At the door I took a deep breath to gather a sort of strength for the world I was about to throw myself in. Once the breath left my mouth I knocked on the dark black door, it giggled at the hinges. I heard muffled talking from the room followed by footsteps. The door swung open startling me. Standing in the doorway was a sickly thin woman dressed only in a dress shirt, not hers or one designed for her sex, in her hand smoked a small brown cigarette. Her hair was a mess but I assumed my knocking had woken her up, but once she spoke I realized that this was just the way she always looked.
“You need something? BB’s in the kitchen if that’s who you’re looking for.” Her voice was young but filled with needless age.
“Maybe I was looking for you.” I said in a joking manner, I was feeling extremely nervous.
“Nah you’re not looking for me honey, no one ever looks for me.” Then from out of my view came a man’s voice.
“Oh poor Sasha, nobody’s ever looking for you.” From the kitchen emerged the speaker of those words, a ponytailed man in a flannel shirt. He wiped his hands with a dirty rag.
“We can’t all be winners like you BB.” Sasha said without turning her head to look at him. I forced an awkward smile to my face; I couldn’t tell if they were joking with each other or not.
“What do you want man?” He said as he approached the door.
“Um, I’m looking for a guy named Kurt, does he live here?” I was hoping I had the wrong apartment.
“Yeah that’s me, Sasha just calls me BB, it’s a long story. What do you want?”
“A friend of mine said you could help me, I haven’t been sleeping well and things just don’t seem…” I couldn’t tell where I was going with my words. Everything had begun to turn into a fog for me. The lack of sleep paired with the extremely strange dream I had were all sending me into a spiral of the unknown.
“What friend told you about me?” He said in a defensive tone.
“Berry.” At least I thought it was Berry.
“Berry, Berry, is he that little four eyed guy with the curly hair? He always wears the Pacman shirt.”
“Yeah that’s Berry.” I mumbled.
“Come in man, Berry’s a character, said he was a painter or something.”
“Yeah, abstract stuff.” I said as I was let in.
Sasha began to make coffee as I set with BB in the littered room. Records were strung all across the floor ranging from Bing Crosby to the Beastie Boys.
“Sasha don’t make any coffee, if the guy can’t sleep then why would he drink that crap?” BB said as he lit what I assumed to be a cigarette.
“Maybe it’s for me, you know that I sometimes have to drink and eat.” Sasha opened the fridge and threw her hands into the air angrily. “But we don’t have any food so I can’t eat!” Sasha slammed the refrigerator shut and stormed off into a back room, the apartment shook when she shut the door.
“She’s lovely isn’t she?” BB looked at me with a small smile.
“She’s defiantly, unique.” I said.
“So you’re plagued by the sleepless nights and the long boring days, we all get ‘em what do you want me to do about it? Don’t answer since I already know it. You want a magic pill, something that will throw you back and let you dream. That shit isn’t hard to come by, have you tried your local Wal-Mart, come within ten feet of a blue vested guy and he’ll talk to you, it’s the law.” BB closed his lighter.
“I did all that, I even bought a new bed, a king sized one thinking that would help. I’ve tried ambient music to sleep to, I’ve tried meditating, I’ve tried it all.”
“Well I’ll let you have Sasha, let her talk your ear off about Dark Shadows and you’ll nose dive into bed.”
“I already know about Collinwood and Barnabas so it wouldn’t do a thing for me.”
“So you’re a fan of the show too? Well you’re hopeless; let me get you the pills.” BB stood up and disappeared out of the room.
When I think back to that day I can never get a full grasp on my thought process. How far down had I gone that I resorted to mixing with this side of society, this side of the human animal? I had been around it all before as a spectator but not as an explorer seeking it out.
As I looked around something caught my eye on the coffee table. Upon examining it I was filled with fear. It was a piece of paper with the identical handwriting splattered across it as the three from my apartment. I quickly grabbed it from the table and forced it into my coat pocket. BB soon entered the room he carried a small bottle of pills that jiggled as he walked.
“Ok man, here you go, it’ll be $15.” I handed him three five dollar bills and took the orange pill bottle.
“Welcome to idiothood, you are now a pill buying idiot. If this goes like it always does I will see you in a week. Take care of yourself newly formed idiot.” BB said as he set down on the couch. I walked to the door when Sasha spoke from the other room.
“Take care honey, come back anytime.” Her voice was filled with genuine kindness; it was in complete contrast to the raggedy tones she spoke earlier.
“You too Sasha.” I said as I closed the door, hoping it was the last time I’d ever have to touch that door handle.