The Din

by mdjb

The television volume was on high, at least 25.
“But, Evelyn, you sleep all the time!”
“Only to avoid the draft from the swinging door.”
“Sweetie,…”
“Don’t touch me. There’s no quickie sex here. No on-again-off-again, got-fifteen-minutes-between-meetings, try-to-keep-her-quiet sex here. Get it from someone else, but, you get it—I go, and the gravy train ends.”
The gigolo undone.
Almost the story of my life, Theresa thought.
“Bull shit. Bull shit,” kept ringing in her ears. Her own words from two hours earlier.
From across the courtyard, the discordant sound of one of the Mexican pop songs being rehearsed by the as yet unprofessional neighbor’s band came to layer itself over Evelyn’s retribution on the television.
Theresa sat watching a tiny bodied, long-legged spider weaving its web in the corner where the windowed wall met the bare one. What a waste of time, she thought, as she could also see the little gecko who would soon make dinner of the spider, only a short distance away. “Bull shit. Bull shit,” still reverberating.
Through the window, with its makeshift curtain tied back, which was on an angle to the living room, she could see Armando’s leg dangling from the couch. He was oblivious to Evelyn’s melodrama. She didn’t know it then, but he had stopped breathing fifteen minutes earlier. She would be told that he had died of alcoholic poisoning by a relative a week later over the telephone.
She thought for tonight she would rather not sleep here and went upstairs to pack a little bag. She would check into the Sheraton near the plaza. In the morning, she would purchase a one-way ticket back to New York on the last of her Mexican pesos.
With her overnighter in hand, she clicked off the television.
On her way out, she noticed Armando was not snoring, but her thoughts turned in another direction as the raucous neighbors finished rehearsing and the sound of crickets filled the courtyard.

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