“Slipping into blue, sliding towards black. Caught in the whirlwind. Slipping, slipping, slipping into blue…”
She snapped off the radio and sighed. It’s not that easy. Her eyes followed a trail of blue smoke as she crushed out her cigarette. Some of us don’t have that luxury.
A rusting metal chair scraped against worn linoleum as she stood and surveyed the tiny apartment. Crisp, white curtains and a collection of bright coffee cups did little to disguise the gloom that clung to the walls. Like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble, it was a lost cause. Despair had lived there too long.
She slipped on her black canvas sneakers, grabbed her backpack, and pressed her ear against the door. Satisfied no one was lurking in the dimly lit hallway, she opened her door and crept toward the concrete stairwell. Her stomach lurched as the stench hit her. Fried food, stale beer, urine, and rotting garbage mixed with the sweet smell of pot and incense. This must be what Hell smells like. Making her way down three flights, she relaxed as she approached the steel door.
“You’re late.” The balding Super jabbed a fat finger at her as he stepped to block her path. He chomped on the end of an unlit cigar and tugged at his saggy pants. “Rent was due last week.”
Squeezing around him, she pasted a smile on her face. “I know, Bruno. I’ll have it in a few days. I promise.” She pushed against the cold door. “Just give me until the end of the week, ok?” Not waiting for an answer, she ran onto the busy sidewalk, trying to get lost in the crowd. She heard him calling after her.
“Ain’t no free ride her, Girl. Better have the rent in two days or you’re out.”