Sunday, December 20, 2009

Indoor Lights

The lights near the ceiling at Spencer Alley are never taken down. In fact they are seldom turned on, even at Christmas. They are the left-behind legacy of a long-ago tenant, and their presence is easy to forget.

Back in the day when strings of lights were nailed up outlining the ceilings all around this apartment, there were two roommates living here. The one who put up the lights was a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. The other was nicknamed Danger Dan, and he was a drug addict. In fact he died here, in the living room, with a needle in his arm. A pizza had just been delivered and the box was open on the coffee table, but nobody ever took a bite of that pizza. I heard this story more than once from the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, who was unlucky enough to discover the body and who later put all the living room furniture out in the street to avoid the sight of it. Just about anything you put on the street in this neighborhood disappears within minutes.