I woke up in my bed. Had I dreamed being unconscious? Had I dreamed everything? I was wearing a hat. Why the hell was I wearing this? It was a baseball hat, trucker specifically. Back-to-back world war champs it read. The letters were in white on a plain black background.
“Probably wondering what’s up, huh,” said a voice from the other end of my room. It was early, but the sun wasn’t all the way up yet and so I couldn’t see everything in my room…
“Quit lookin’ around and just listen!” The voice was familiar now, it was the man from before.
“What do you want!” I yelled.
“What the hell did I just say? I’ll just give you a second to think about what you wanna do here, girl.”
I shut up. I still could not see him but I could feel him in the room.
“Well, alright now,” he continued. “Good choice. Now, you’re employed at an interesting spot here, you know that? Don’t answer. See, you’ve been here a while now it seems and you’ve been a good little worker. You clean, you leave. Usually that’s all fine, right? But lately, you seem to think this shit is yours, huh! You took my bike, and now I need to get even.”
“You haven’t been here in years, that spot used to be empty!”
“That spot is mine!” He was yelling now. “You don’t get it! I am not what you think I am, and…”
I rushed up from my bed to turn the lights on. As I did, I dropped the hat. There was no one in sight. I called out and there was really no one inside. I picked the hat up again to examine it.
“I am death…”
The man quit talking again when I dropped the hat. I’m not so sure if he said “dead” or “death.” Whoops.
I knew now that it was the hat that brought the man out. It must have been the motorcycle too, that it did it the first time. And the woman too, I think. Whenever I touched something, the person belonging to it appeared. Belonging to it? Can a person belong to an item? “It’s not the clothes that make the man,” but man also did not make the clothes. What is man anymore? What’s in a person?
I went back down to the unit with the motorcycle. It was open, the way I had left it. I didn’t want to touch anything. The woman who knocked me out must have “belonged” to the teapot I had touched. But why was all of this stuff here, and why now? That man… that man also knew how this worked. And he knew to put the hat on my head, but he couldn’t have done it. Who did?
I checked the unit next to this one in the computer. 2A – it should be empty. The owners left about a year ago now and it hasn’t been rented since. Robert and Josephine Grant. I Googled them just to cover all of my bases. I found a website near me:
Bob n Joe regret having to close our store here in the heart of the desert. The southern desert. After 56 years in business, we will miss our patrons, mostly who were passersby, asleep in their trucks. Oh how Joe and I would love to watch those trucks come in and see the characters driving them. One time this fellow showed up, on a motorcycle. Can you believe that! Riding through the desert on a motorcycle. Jesus H Christ. Well I’ll tell you, that asshole left his tank overflowing in his motorcycle. Did it constantly. He’d always be poking fights with someone, and one day thought it’d be ‘cool’ to light a cigarette while filling his tank. That dickhead got into a fight and it overflowed again! He went back and bam! I have to fill out insurance forms, cars are damaged, I need a new pump, plus the ambulance bills! Don’t get me started on the damn ambulance bills!
Anyways, I’m sorry to leave you guys, but we’re just getting too old for it now. It was a pleasure to serve you and meet you all.
(Except that asshole with the bike, rest in peace)
Nice couple. I walked down to their unit and opened up the door. It wasn’t empty.