Last Saturday night, I was sitting at home alone in the condo.
My husband was out getting hammered with a bunch of his geologist friends. I didn't go because honestly, they all just end up talking about igneous rocks, landslides, and different types of sandstone- and yes, it's as boring as it sounds. Especially when they tie on one too many and end up arguing about whether geothermal fluids at super-critical pressures and temperatures can be exploited as sources of power. I've seen fights break out over this.
So he's out on the town, and I'm sitting at home drinking Jack Daniels and organizing my make-up drawer (pale pinks on the left, sunrise corals on the right) when I hear a knock at the door. I'm wearing a pair a pajamas with tiny lime green stars all over them, but I grab my glass of Jack and get up to answer it anyway.
I open the door and two people are standing there. One, a girl, probably twenty years old was staring at me through glazed eyes, and with her was a guy with spiked blond hair and a lip ring.
"Um..." I took a sip of my drink. "Can I help you?"
The girl blinked rapidly. "Our friend, like, lives next door, and we're looking for him- he's not answering and we keep knocking."
I frowned. I vaguely remembered a neighbor moving in next door a couple weeks prior, but personally had not met him. "Okay...." I said, confused.
The guy stared at me and started scratching his arms. "We keep calling his cell phone but he won't pick up," he explained.
Again, I was confused. "Well, maybe he's out," I said, wondering why they were telling me all this. "I don't know him," I said, slowly, to the two kids who were clearly not playing with a full deck of cards.
"Well, we think-" the kid paused to scratch himself again. "We think he might of killed himself," he whispered.
"Oh." I paused. "Oh, my- that's- that's terrible," I said, formally, because really how do you respond to that? "Um....you really think he's dead in there?"
"Maybe," said the spiked-hair kid, nonchalantly, as he continued to scratch himself in an obviously opium-induced haze.
"Ok..." I said, and took a really strong swallow of my drink. "So, um- should we call the police?"
"No, no," the girl said quickly. "He's already had a ton of problems with the law- I don't want him to get in trouble."
I stared at her. "Er- if he's dead, I don't think that's really an issue," I couldn't help but point out.
"Do you have a key to his place?" She asked impatiently.
"No- and honestly, if he really did kill himself, I'm pretty sure I would of heard a gunshot," I answered, helpfully. "The walls of this condo are real thin- and I haven't heard a thing."
The boy smirked at me. "Some suicides are silent," he said, all condescending.
"Oh, right- well, I haven't heard like, water running if he tried to drown himself in the bathtub, or anything," I continued, trying to think of other ways people kill themselves. Wasn't there a Saved By The Bell episode about this or something? Maybe Beverly Hills, 90210? Surly Dylan McKay dealt with suicide at one point.
The girl was growing impatient with me. "So do you know where we could get a key or not?" She said, growing more irritated.
"Again, no, I don't have a key or know where to get a key for you to check to see if there's a rotting corpse next door," I snapped, as these kids were starting to annoy me. I was also getting suspicious with the truthfulness of their story. Is this what thieves do? Get the key from the neighbor claiming a dead body is next door, and then rob the house? I'm no Nancy Drew, but this situation was quickly becoming sketchy at best.
"We might have to break the door down," the guy said, lighting up a cigarette. Clearly he was real concerned about his supposedly-dead friend, as he slumped against the railing of the condo building.
I slammed the rest of my drink. Obviously I was going to have to talk these two nut jobs down off their Cops fantasy. "You're not going to break down the door," I said. "Now let's start at the beginning- why do you think your friend killed himself?"
"He's real unstable," the girl said.
"We're all unstable," I answered. "I'm 34 years old and wrote a love letter to Justin Beiber yesterday. If that's not fucked up, than I don't know what it."
"Gross- he's young enough to be your son," the boy said, grimacing through the cigarette smoke.
"Exactly," I agreed. "My point is, my friends don't think I killed myself every time I don't answer a text- they just think I'm passed out drunk somewhere. So you're going to need to either call the police or take your asses home."
"But we need to leave a note on his door, at least" the girl whined.
The three of us ended up writing this on a large post it: JER- ARE YOU ALIVE? CALL US- TISH & RICKY and sticking it to his front door. They finally went home and I ended up falling asleep in front of the television, exhausted from playing high school counselor.
The next morning I woke to the sound of keys rattling in my maybe-dead neighbor's door, and I quickly got up and raced outside. There stood my neighbor, alive and in the flesh.
"You're alive," I said, blinking.
My neighbor stared at me in confusion. "Um...yeah...?"
I crossed my arms. "Tish and Ricky thought you killed yourself," I said, tattling on them. "You might want to give them a call."
He looked really confused. "Why would they think I killed myself?" He asked me.
"Word on the street is that you're unstable," I replied.
"Who isn't?" He mused, turning the key on the lock and walking into his condo.
My thoughts exactly.
Quarter Life Whatever
4 years ago