'The Happy Hooker Driver'

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'The Odd Couple'

There are three apartments in The Brownstone which I am living in. The Apartment at the bottom floor is fairly large, with a spacious living room, Kitchen, Full Bathroom, and a Half-Bathroom as well. There is also a back door that has direct access to the small backyard. I normally do not use the backyard to take my dogs out, instead I go out through the front of the building which really does not have a yard, it has small patches of grass. The Apartment on the second floor is occupied by two middle-aged men. When I first moved in here, I thought that they were two gay guys living together, but once I got to know them I realized that it is not the case.

Larry is a brunette haired man, single, in his mid-forties, with no children. He likes playing Solitaire, and reading ‘The Philadelphia Inquirer’. He claims to be looking for work, but I do not believe that he truly is. He has invited me over a few times for some conversation, and a cup of coffee. He is a complete neat freak; His side of the apartment is super clean, and organized. He is a nice guy, but we just do not mix together too well, and he is more of an acquaintance rather than a friend, plus he is the type of guy who is always trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Ted on the other hand, I do consider to be my friend; He is such an unique, kind-hearted, and genuine individual. He is divorced with grown kids. He is in his mid-fifties, and I would bet on it that he got a lot of ladies in his youth, 5′ 9" in height, with a full head of thick, wavy reddish blonde hair. He does not dress to impress, and pretty much wears the same outfit of blue jeans with a brown, or orange t-shirt each day. He is a heavy cigarette smoker, and usually keeps a pack of Marlboro Red Cigarettes inside of his t-shirt pocket. I am not a big smoker, but when I can I keep on hand ‘The Natural American Spirit Cigarettes’; They brand themselves as the healthier choice, Natural, Organic, and Additive-Free, but the downfall is their high price. If Ted’s cigarette supply is running on empty, he will ask me for one, he usually offers me a buck, but I politely refuse.

He told me that when he was younger he had worked for ‘The New Yorker Magazine’, and he even pulled out his old access pass with his picture on it to show me. At this time in his life he is doing odd jobs just to get by, including maintenance for our building. I know that him, and Larry are behind in their rent too, because my Landlord has complained to me about it. The two of them remind me of that show ‘The Odd Couple’, because Ted’s side of the apartment is a disaster, and the odor in there gets equal billing, as it is a mix of uncleanliness with the smell of Weed. They are both big Weed smokers, I think that when they are at home, that all they do is smoke Weed! And when I am outside of my studio apartment, and in the common areas of the building, it just reeks of Weed! I have smoked Weed a total of five times in my life, and each time was with the same ex-boyfriend. At first it was nice that feeling of euphoria, but then when I thought that my heart would stop beating if I took five steps forward, and on a wintery night I decided that I would run around outside with not much clothing on this is when I knew that Weed was no longer for me.

I never asked Ted about this...but since the first day of meeting him, he is never without bandages applied to his skin; One is at the nape of his neck, and the other is on his right forearm. I have always been curious about this, but the topic has never been brought up in our numerous conversations. As the Mice problem in my studio apartment has increased, I call on Ted at times to assist me in getting rid of the dead ones. And one time he shared with me a trick to put some pieces of my dog’s food on glue traps; The Mice love to eat that stuff, and they will be lured in by it. Exactly what he said is true, I have caught many Mice by this method, though one of the problems is that it takes them a long time to die; One time I clocked one at ten hours of squeaking to death! And the other problem is that my dog Radar somehow manages to get a glue trap with a dead mouse attached to it, stuck right onto his fur, and then he gets mad at me as if I purposely placed it onto his fur myself.

Living Out West, I did not have to learn the skills of Parallel Parking, because I did not encounter many situations where this was necessary. Now, Back East is a whole nother story; The neighborhood in which I live in is pretty much all Parallel Parking, unless there is a driveway and garage. Many a time I would drive around my neighborhood multiple times just looking for an empty parking spot which was big enough for two vehicles, that way the squeeze did not have to be such a tight fit. As Ted was walking by one time, he saw that I was struggling with this, so he gave me a free lesson in Parallel Parking, and now it is a breeze. Before I begun driving for ‘The Escargot Agency’, Ted would invite me to come along with him to some of his Carpentry Jobs to earn a little bit of pocket money assisting with the cleanup. Right now, the only clean up that I shall be doing is cleaning up all of the money which I will be making at my new job!

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