I live across from a dying neon sign that says “seafoo.” It flickers through the blinds and makes my room a shade of green like in zombie flicks. Every night, I battle the rotten green with the technicolor madness emanating from Tru TV.
Mike came by today.
“Long time no see.”
“No shit, dick! You broke my jaw! I had to have it wired!”
“Yeah, but I paid for it,” I tell him. I don’t see what he was getting at.
“But you broke my jaw! I just got the wires removed last week and it still clicks!” He had his jaw clenched, which was probably bad for it, but what am I, his mom?
“And now you’re here. What, did Carla kick you out again?”
“No! I just wanted an apology from you, dick.”
I look at Mike, his strung out eyes darting around. “The couch is all yours, man. You really need to find another girl, you know that?”
“Hey, you shut your mouth! Carla’s an angel, man! A fucking angel!” His jaw pops like a firecracker. “Ow! Fuck!”
I put a bottle to my lips. I’m not his therapist, either.
When people around here go walking around in the evening talking to themselves, they never have a phone strapped to their heads. I guess we’re old-fashioned that way.
Mike and Carla haven’t called for a while. I don’t know why Mike won’t answer my calls. I paid for his surgery and everything. He’s not a very grateful person. Holds grudges. Doesn’t live for the moment. That kind of guy. I think it’s Carla’s influence. She doesn’t like me.
Mike and Carla came to visit today. They’re a match made in a meth lab and just as volatile. Carla goes straight for the fridge.
“The beer’s not for dragon ladies!”
“Shut the fuck up!” her squealing voice is consumed by the frosty caverns that house all my Dos Equis.
“Yeah. Shut the fuck up!” Mike hits me upside the head. It doesn’t bother me much that Mike hit me. I deserved it, after all. It bothered me that the bitch didn’t come over here and do it herself. Mike’s a tool but she uses him like one. Not cool.
Somehow, after a couple hours of drinking and watching T.V., we start commenting on the way that fat chick’s voice sounds on Operation Repo.
“She says stuff weird,” I say.
“She looks weird, too. Who cares, man?” Mike takes down the rest of my beer.
“Sounds like white trash. Ain’t she Latina?”
“You sound like white trash.”
“Hey. Fuck you.” I say. “I’m pure bred Chinese. Ain’t no white trash in my house.”
“Oh, right.” He and Carla look at each other and I know its trouble. It’s like two pieces of flint trying to start a fire, except imagine the flint is two idiots you know.
“Ah soo. Ching chong ping pong pow! Belly good. Me likey fat ratina. Likey berry much!”
I break his jaw.
Carla burned down my apartment building. Mike must have said something wrong.
Days 21 through 67
Bought some more beer. Life is good. The room is flickering green. I turn on the T.V. and it feels like I’m winning.
Mike is keeping me up all night talking on the phone. I get sick of “I’m sorry, baby,” but then they start shouting again. I can even hear her voice, she’s so loud. It’s shrill, cuts through plaster walls like a razor. I fall asleep to their shouting and even manage to sleep like a newborn. It’s comforting to know that, from a certain perspective, nothing ever really changes.
The hotel I’m staying at smells like cat piss. There’s a red sign across the street with two Xs. I need a drink.