An unusual craving for vodka settled in on my tongue until I finally succumbed and poured myself two shots worth. Olives bobbed among the ice while I rotated the drink in my hand.
Stinging, sterilizing my throat, the alcohol scratched its way down to warm my stomach. I let the saltiness of the olive juice linger until it staled; I took a second sip. I was trying to calm myself.
One floor below my apartment, a rhythmic pounding was shaking my wine glasses. Perhaps a picture was being hung, or a chair leg had become too loose and it was impatiently being knocked into place.
The racket didn’t really bother me, at first.
Ten minutes later I was slightly annoyed.
Maybe my neighbors were banging on their floor to quiet an equally noisy neighbor below them.
Or perhaps the man with a voice full of loose gravel and silt, who occasionally charged around his apartment thundering curses below my bedroom, had finally swung too hard this time. The lifeless body, which he was now realizing wasn’t ever going to come back around, needed too be hidden.
Pounding nails into boards that criss-crossed the barricaded door, where the body was gently wedged beside an artificial Christmas tree and extra blankets, was only a temporary solution. He knew that. But it felt good to exhaust himself, a meditation of sorts, to clear his mind and allow him to focus.
Or. Perhaps the family below me was just enthusiastically playing ‘Rock Band’ on their wii and the drummer had a heavy foot stomping the beat of an old Billy Idol song.
Cross-legged on my floor, sipping my drink, I decided either way a house in the country would be ideal.