by Norman A. Bert
Outside an apartment, on a little balcony, 12 stories up.
Late at night.
PETE is in his pajamas, sitting in a plastic chair, smoking.
I get back from lunch, drowsy. Wander through those three rooms. My world. Mine? That’s a good one. Pictures of strange, long-necked women. Watch for the hidden camera, the reaching hand—what makes people think they can touch the paintings? Gotta remember to pick up the eggs, the tortillas—means taking the slow way home. Jesse. Who did he think he was, saying that to our mother? Then I notice her. Where did she come from?
Blue scarf. Foreign. Maybe European.
And then he expects you to fix his car. After a comment like that. Must be the water pump.
She’s slow, this one. Gonna be here a while. Methodical. One picture at a time.
Then the kids come in with their teacher. Third graders? Giggles. Pointing. More giggles. What was that teacher thinking? Didn’t she know about the nudes? She’s gonna catch hell from the parents. Serves her right. Continue reading