Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Man With No Friends Doesn't Need Visitors

Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up depends on the stuff he's made of. ---Josh Billings

I saw Creepy last night. For those of you who don't know, Creepy was my old roommate when I lived in room 118 of the Motel Marquis crack motel on Crenshaw Boulevard in Gardena, California.

The Motel Marquis was an interesting place. It was sort of a halfway house in reverse. Instead of being transitional housing for felons getting out of prison, it was transitional housing for those about to go in.

I was over at the Motel Marquis exchanging tax returns I'd done for the dying, bedridden woman in 117 for some cash: $75. I no sooner walked into the front foyer than Creepy called out from the second floor walkway.

"Heeeeeello, James," he said. He said it a tone that implied someone caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It's probably a tone his mother used with him a lot when he came out of her attic and tried to sneak-thief something out of her refrigerator. He lived in his mother's attic in Patterson, New Jersey for the first 42 years of his life. His name is Wojdyla (rhymes with boy-thriller). James Wojdyla. Jim Woyt is his movie extra name.

"Hello, Cre--uh, Jim," I answered. I answered in the tone of a person bumping in to a pesky burial insurance salesman.

Creepy swished downstairs quickly in his trademark latent homosexual gait, popped in to his room so that he could stick his head out the door and say what he always says since I moved out a year and a half ago:

"I'd invite you in, but we got a rule about not allowing any visitors in."

I had moved out a year and a half ago in part because Creepy had thrown a hissy fit one night when I let Homeless Grace sleep on the floor in my room. Since then, Creepy has had an ironclad rule about nether him or his roommates allowing ANY visitors in the motel room.

What a sad way to live, I thought. Pathetic. Living in a place where none of your friends can ever visit. What a grind that must be to come home to your crack motel room after a hard day's labor and only being able to talk to this polymorphic pervert.

I concluded my business as quickly as I could with the dying, bedridden old woman next door in room 117, with Creepy standing in the woman's doorway, interrupting our business with the lurid details of his latest drama: his toilet backed up three days ago.

Creepy followed me all the way out to the curb outside where I had parked my truck, detailing with every step the sounds and smells and dangers of toilet overflow-ery. When he saw my truck which he has seen me in a couple of times before, he changed the subject.

"Oh, is that your truck?"

I hastily jumped in my truck.

"Hey, that's a good truck."

I cranked the big diesel engine.

"You can be homeless again in that truck," he raised his pitch to try to cover the sound of my truck's engine. I pulled away from the curb. I knew what was coming.

"It's a good thing you have that truck, James . . ."

I hit second gear just as he finished up, calling after me:

" . . . because as you know, we don't allow visitors!"

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