Light Music

24 Dec

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My living quarters are very basic. Three windows look out on a narrow alley. If I open the shades I’m on full view to my neighbors. I keep them down. At night I make simple dinners – usually a big salad and white wine on the rocks. I read in silence at the table. It’s been like this for six months.

I don’t have a phone and my cell doesn’t get a signal in the apartment. To make a call I have to walk down the stairs and out to the street. There’s a utility box right outside my door. I can lean on it like I’m cocking an elbow on a filing cabinet and make my call as I watch gangbangers loiter in doorways and shy Koreans hurry by.

The apartment’s TV isn’t hooked up. So I borrow DVDs from the Koreatown library – choosing from a weary selection – stuff you’d see at a picked over yard sale. I have to wonder, why does the library have three copies of Johnny Tremaine?

Yesterday, for some inexplicable reason, the electrical outlet in my kitchen began playing a radio station. For eight hours I heard Eighties rock coming out of an electrical outlet. U-2, Aerosmith, The Police. Finally it stopped.

Like the lack of light and cell phone signal, I was worried it was going to be another affliction I’d be forced to live with.

(2005)

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