Upstairs was quiet.  They were in a bad spot.  Picked the wrong apartment, or as Teresa would never fail to say while taking her first sip of caffeine in the morning: “Hardwood’s trash, but the neighborhood’s golden.”

Peter didn’t concur.  The floors, barren, without carpet or rug, amplified each tinny into a rage-inducing issue for the single woman who lived downstairs.  She banged on the door one night at 3 am, yelling shut-the fuck up already-I can hear when you fucking pee for chrissakes-and when you fuck and-I know the bad tv shows you watch-do you have a goddamn meth lab up there or something, why are you always moving around and banging shit everywhere.

They had a rug once, an ancient white shag bequeathed from Peter’s grandmother they later abandoned in Yosemite during an impromptu camping trip, caked with dirt, crushed mosquitoes, and mashed potatoes.  It was for Teresa’s artistic endeavors– she brought a cheap video camera to record making love amongst the redwoods and on the luxurious shag, intending to glorify man’s proverbial juxtaposition between nature and material necessity.

The shag was not as soft as it looked, and while Teresa moaned for performance’s sake he couldn’t help but realize that he could smell his grandmother’s scent on the rug.  He never wanted to revisit that thought so he didn’t give her a hard time ruining it.

Teresa was a bitch before coffee.  Peter wasn’t sure if coffee had an actual effect or if it gave her free range to turn into a werewolf in pajamas for 10 minutes.  Day after day and week after week and months.

“You’re on a road to hell.  Why do you have that look on your face?”  She cupped her mug with freshly brewed coffee, just black, with her left hand as she leaned forward on the counter, towards him.

“I’m leaving today and you can keep this,” he gestured to the sink and hardwood floor.

She threw her coffee in the sink and said whatever, she doesn’t give a shit what he does, he could have cut off his leg, and as long as it was before caffeine, she didn’t give a flying fucking goose.


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