Magnanimous Monday Excerpt

Chicago What's the Point?

He entered his two room flat and put the groceries down on the kitchen table. He was about to empty the bag when he muttered, “What’s the point. I’m done here.”

He sat down on one of the kitchen table chairs and looked around taking a mental inventory of what was in the small two room apartment. He was considering leaving it stocked, “It would make a good safe house,” he mumbled, “Or I could give the food away.”

“I could leave it for the girl,” he nodded to himself, realizing he’d have to find her and explain things. He decided to split the difference. He would leave the staples in the cabinets, and give the perishables in the refrigerator to the building supervisor and his family.

He made his way down the stairs to pass on the food when he spotted the girl at the bottom of the stairs resting her head on the wall. She looked to be asleep. He watched her for a moment then decided to give her one more chance, one more secret favor.

He turned around, returned to the apartment, and returned the perishables the cool interior of the refrigerator.

He looked around one more time and reaffirmed that it was time to vacate this place and start a new life somewhere else.

It was a furnished apartment so none of the ‘things’ there belonged to him. The only possessions that were his was the food in the refrigerator and the few clothes he had in the closet and most of those had come from the homeless shelter or a thrift store to help him blend into the area.

He removed the dark Chicago Cub’s cap, tossed to the top shelf of the mostly empty hall closet, then removed a grey worn hoodie from one of the few occupied hangers.

He moved into the bedroom and opened the top drawer of the nightstand. He left the cheap watch he was wearing on his wrist, but transferred an antique silver pocket watch, an ornate long silver cross, and a modern stainless steel lighter from the drawer, adding them to the growing collection of items in his pants pocket.

The last two non-clothing items, a silver pen, and a safety deposit key he slipped into his shirt pocket under the hoodie.

He returned to the kitchen and wrote a note for the manager: “I’m going out of town for a while.”

He paused and thought for a moment and continued his note, “If a girl with a flowered shirt and a green knapsack shows up looking for me, please let her use the apartment until I return. If you don’t hear back from me in three months, consider my non-return my thirty day notice. Enclosed is this month, and next month’s rent as well as enough for the next three months after that. Thanks.”

He opened the freezer and pulled out three sealed boxes of frozen spinach. He opened them and pulled out several stacks of cold cash. Counting out enough money to cover the apartment, folding the letter around the bills, then inserting both into a envelop he found in one of the kitchen drawers.

He stopped then pulled out several more thousand dollar bills and placed them in the refrigerator under the half-full gallon of non-fat chocolate milk. The remainder of the cash went into his pocket.

Desmond made his way back down the stairs and quietly past the sleeping girl. He shoved the letter under the door sill of apartment number one; then made his way to the laundry room and quietly exited out the back door into the courtyard shared with the building behind the one he had just vacated.