Talk 9 – Complain

fiction about friends

Short Story

 

Enough whiskey, let’s eat something and then we’ll visit the flower lady.
Are we ordering food?
No, I cooked.
I can smell it. Where do you keep it?
I kept everything in the oven to be warm so we can have a few whiskeys. But I don’t want to be tipsy when we go to the flower lady.
You respect her a lot.
I do.
So did you cook?
Here it is, something to soak up the whiskey. Farmer’s cheese with butter and garlic on toasted bread, deviled eggs, fennel, salami, orange jam, grilled scallions and fresh bread.
You made all these?
You didn’t know he cooks?
No.
Yes he cooks.
Even the bread?
Yes I baked it this morning. Try it.
This is good.
Do you have beer?
Yes.
It’s better with the food.
Let’s drink some tea. After the flower lady we’ll have another whiskey.
Is this an order?
Yes, soldier.
Do you hear something?
Oh, yes this is the neighbors above. They fight all the time. He screams like a maniac.
Not good.
It’s not bad. From listening to them I think it’s just their way to release steam on regular intervals. Like some people cry to calm their nerves.
I know someone like that.
Food is good!
Thank you but it’s mostly fatty for the whiskey. There is no challenge in cooking with cheese or salami. The beauty of cooking is to make vegetables taste good without adding fat to them.
That’s what you usually do?
It’s a hobby.
Cooking is a good skill to have.
We all agree on that.
Yes sir.
Are you done? Drink your tea and let’s go pick you a painting.
Are we all going?
Why not? Just be nice.
We’re all good people.
Good people with half a bottle of whiskey in them.
Are we going to the first floor?
Yes, but not the one below us, the other one.
There’s someone in the hallway.
Just open the door.
Who’s there, do I have new neighbors? My eyes are good for nothing.
It’s me, I have some friends over.
I can only see four figures and can smell that whiskey.
And garlic.
Are you coming or going?
Coming back from the park. Me and my old lady were sitting on the grass eating bread and cheese. The sun had moved and left us under the shade, but we didn’t realize it until we stood up and looked down on where we were sitting. We felt it growing cooler but didn’t know why.
Well you never stop learning from your experiences.
Life is about experiences.
You speak like foolish young men. You have to curate your experiences with utmost diligence. As if you are the director of an art museum. That’s what life is all about.
Where’s your lady?
She had to run ahead. The cheese went right through her. She is probably repainting the walls in the bathroom. Haha.
I hope not.
Like I keep telling the landlord to repaint the walls in the hallway. The paint is peeling. And it should be a lighter color. It’s too grim in here. And he should plant some flowers in the front patch. Not grass, flowers, grass is a shortcut. Flowers need care, that’s why he doesn’t do it. And the super is impossible. Have you talked to him? He is the rides person I know. He doesn’t know how to talk to people. We don’t smoke often. Only on holidays my lady enjoys a cigarette. He stuck a note on our door that we polluted the sidewalk with cigarette buts. We didn’t bother him for years until my lady dropped her keys in the elevator shaft. And so it happen our only mailbox key was on that chain. We asked him to get I for us. Since then he’s been impossible.
I’ll talk to him for you.
No need. I did already. But why should it be that way? This city is full of self-absorbed folk. Everyone has a long face. Afraid to look back and admit they were wrong coming here. Instead – whiskey.
Do you want some?
Later. I have to see to my lady first. She doesn’t let me drink. Only two glasses of wine with dinner on the weekend. One Friday and one Saturday. And cheap vodka for the holidays. Maybe that’s why I am going blind. Whiskey sounds like a dream.
She sounds like a good lady.
She is the real deal. Wow, the couple upstairs is having a session. I don’t how it works for them. But the noise bothers me. I’m loosing my sight but I wish I was loosing my hearing. What was the last time you spent in a place absolutely silent? I miss that. I came to this city tired of nature. This modern jungle became nature for me. Now I want nature.
Why don’t you move?
At my age change becomes difficult to handle.
You have many good years ahead of you.
Can I get drunk with you later? I will sneak out and come over.
The door will be open.
Good. I have more complaining to do but now I have to go.

 

next chapter: TALK 10 – FLOWERS

previous chapter: TALK 8 – FREEDOM

all chapters: TALK

more by PETER ODEON

photograph by Ms. Irina

 

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