Come to think of it, some guy died not long after we moved here. It was within the first few weeks of our arrival. We were still in the process of bringing bits and pieces in from our last place, a similar style apartment that was about to be demolished so they could build a swanky high-rise the likes of which we couldn’t afford to live in if we earned ten times more than what we were making. Shit, ten times more than what we’d make even if we lived to be a hundred. Up and down the stairs we would go, a dozen times a day. Boxes of books. Crates of beer. Suitcases full of clothes and Meeko’s dolls. Meeko collects dolls. I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not? I’m not too fond of them. They’re creepy. The way they follow me around the room. They way they watch me when I’m in the nude. When we fuck, I try and turn them around so they face the wall. She likes an audience, though. Says the thought of all their eyes on her makes her nipples tingle.
On these endless stairwell trips, while I would more often than not collapse onto the bed through exhaustion, Meeko would go on the prowl pressing her ear against the doors to the other apartments seeing if she could ‘accidentally’ bump into the other residents as they were going about their day. It wasn’t long until she caught a conversation between two people living on the ground floor. Turns out something had occurred between a young couple. The police had been called. And an ambulance, too. They were about our age. More normal, though. Normal in the sense that they dreamed of a life consisting of being able to pay for a mortgage while taking expensive holidays in San Tropez, as opposed to our dreams which consisted of being artists and having enough money to drink beer and fuck without the need for a day job. He worked in a bank. She did something to do with catering. I can’t remember. It’s not really important. They were well-liked, though, and were only living here so they could save for something better. We were living here because it was the only thing we could afford. Barely.
Long story short, the guy died. It was during the night. His girlfriend unknowingly slept next to his dead body until she got up for work in the morning. Her screams woke half the block. Not Meeko and I, though. We were gone to world nursing hangovers that wouldn’t shift until the following evening. Meeko was convinced the guy had killed himself. Not sure why. Neither of us had even met them, but her mind was made. Turns out he had heart disease from doing too much coke and stuff like that. Bit of a waste if you ask me. Meeko was devasted. Not because he’d died so young, but because she was sure there was more to it. She’d pictured one or perhaps both of them committing adultery, and his suicide being the result of a guilty conscience or broken heart. Or he had some secret childhood trauma that had eaten away at his mind and soul until he couldn’t face another day. Too many skeletons in the closet, as she put it. There’s nothing to say these things weren’t going on, but a simple case of heart disease brought on by too much Charlie was just too unbearable for her to comprehend. She wanted something more, salacious? I think that’s the right word. I’m not good with words. Probably explains why no one wants to read my manuscripts.