the saint of the red-light district
He had been a theatre director and was in his late sixties but still looked good— real good. Every time I’d see him he had a big smile and something nice to say. We lived in a large building but he was the person I looked forward to seeing the most. We never said much, though every time I saw him I felt better than any other person made me feel. One afternoon he wasn't feeling good. I passed him on his way to the medical centre, he had the same smile and zest as usual: "Probably nothing," he said. The following day I was told he died in the waiting area at the medical centre. He was so peaceful: no one noticed until they called his name.
20 years old working night security at the 24-hour supermarket
One Santa got sacked after a few days for touching young girls in special places the next was always drunk though didn’t like little girls and kept the job right until Christmas the daytime security guard was balding and 42 and started sleeping with the 16 year old girl from Wendy’s a few weeks later he left his wife and kids and moved into a caravan with her he got sacked shortly after and the girl left school and supported him the night cleaner was Fijian and he’d tell me all the time about Fiji how much better it was than Sydney though didn’t want to go back— never he was always stoned he gave me some of his joint one morning after work and it took me 2 hours to drive home I gave him speed one night and never saw him again armed robbers tried to rob the supermarket but the store down the road called beforehand and told us they had robbed them and to be careful they would probably come our way when they arrived we had all the lights off and store shutters down and watched them walk away like disappointed children with rifles in their hands from behind the cigarette counter Tammy hated me because I cancelled a date with her after Lenny told me a friend had seen her thing and it really didn’t look as it should Lenny got her pregnant shortly after and they moved in together and I was happy for them a relative owned the Chinese restaurant on the ground floor but I never went there I spent most my time reading Dostoyevsky and trying to write certain I had nothing to write about.
You took me to the spot where your first boyfriend jumped to his death as a teenager. We didn't stay long, just looked. Later that night we made love in silence: pretending not to hear his screams.