Friday, September 23, 2005

Center of it All VII

The air was stale, and the apartment was hot, but Yoni’s apartment was immaculate. I shouldn’t have been surprised; Yoni had always kept his room spotless. There were no signs of the daily chaos that had been a hallmark of any room I walked into. The counters were wiped clean, and there were no piles of bills and mail on top of his microwave. Books were neatly sitting on the shelf, and his remote control was the only thing on the coffee table.

I felt like an intruder as I walked through the two bedroom apartment, half thinking someone was going to walk in and ask me what I was doing there.

I had actually panicked as I opened the door, unsure if Yoni had a roommate, or if someone else had already moved into the apartment, but the house was all Yoni. There were some awards hanging on the wall, and a few trophies on a shelf, mementos from a career that ended far too early.

There were some autographed pictures hanging on the walls, from animation performers I had never heard of, and a few cells I recognized from Butt Bunny.

The kitchen area was spotless, like the rest of the house. I opened the fridge, expecting to find mold-covered cheeses and spoilt milk, but all I found was an unopened bottle of Diet Coke. The freezer was equally bare. Yoni seemed to know he wasn’t coming back, and emptied his fridge before his final trip to the hospital.

There were two bedrooms, and I walked into the smaller one first. There was a bed, a desk, and a computer. The closet was empty, and so were the drawers in the desk. I thought about turning on the computer, but decided to get to that later. I wanted to finish looking through the house.

The door to the master bedroom was the only door that was closed in the whole house. It was unlocked, though, and I walked in. Like the rest of the house, it was neat. The king-sized bed was made, and a few shirts were hanging in the closet. I looked through the drawers, finding carefully folded T-shirts and underwear.

In twenty years, Yoni hadn’t changed the way he folded his underwear. I remembered we would joke about how he did it. First, he would fold the bottom upward. He would always make some joke about taking special care of his nut house. Then he would fold the sides over, ending up with a white square, which would fit easily in his drawer.

He had been a good roommate. Walking into our room in ninth grade was like walking into Jack Lemmon’s apartment in the Odd Couple. There were areas where tremendous care had been put into ensuring everything had its place, and then their was my area, which looked like a tornado had hit. I had large piles of clothes on the floor, he had a laundry bag hanging neatly in his closet. My pens and school supplies were littered across my desk, while he kept his supplies neatly in one of the black plastic supply organizers. For every shirt he had hanging in his closet I had a hangar on the floor and a shirt on top of it.
It was amazing that we got along that year. It wasn’t easy at first, but eventually we got into a rhythm that worked for us. I remember walking into the room that first night, and seeing all his things neatly put away. I thought his mom had come and set him up, but I quickly learned she was as disorganized as anyone. There was no way she would have been capable of organizing Yoni.

I watched as he tried to keep his area orderly. It wasn’t effortless. He put a lot of energy into maintaining it, and when classmates would walk into our room and see him spraying Windex or Pledge as he cleaned, they would kid around and call him gay.

But maybe it wasn’t a joke.

I roomed with Yoni through the entire ninth grade year, and again in eleventh and twelfth grade. In all that time, I had never questioned his sexuality. Guys would tease him, but he was so much stronger and more athletic than anyone else in the class, that no one really thought he was gay. He was too much like us.

I thought back to some of the conversations we had, lying there in the dark in our own beds. Ninth grade boys, separated from girls and forced to live in close proximity with other boys our own age, will talk about anything, and one of the hot topics was who was jerking off right at that moment. There were thirty of us in fifteen rooms on the floor from our grade. Proper jerking off protocol was to wait until your roommate was asleep before doing the deed, but sometimes your roommate would sound asleep, and hear the shuffling coming from your bed, and you were busted.

We would talk about which girls we were thinking about when we did the deed, and I remembered Yoni tell me the strangest thing. Sometimes it would be a movie star or rabbi’s daughter or a girl from home, but sometimes, he said, he would be thinking of something beautiful, or an animal, and get a hard-on. And then, nature would take it’s course.

I never thought about what he meant by that, but maybe, even back then, he was telling me his sexual imagery was far more diverse than mine was.

I closed the underwear drawer, and kept on looking.

After two hours in the apartment, I had gone through every drawer and cabinet I could find. It was like a ghost lived there. There wasn’t a single bill, or piece of mail. There were no signs of any correspondence with anything outside the apartment, and when I went down to the mail slot, it was empty.

It was nearly midnight, and only one thing remained for me to try to look at. The computer.

It was a state of the art Apple product, a G-5, with a monitor that easily ran Yoni well over $2000. The machine, like many of the items in the apartment, seemed out of place in this neighborhood. It belonged a few miles away, where the more fashionable neighborhoods lay. Where this immaculate apartment would not seem so far out of place. It was just another mystery that Yoni had left behind.

I turned it on, and waited as it booted up. It took a minute, and then the log-in screen came up. The user name, jwinters, autofilled, but the password field was blank. I hit enter, hoping their was no password, but was not permitted access. I tried typing in jwinters, and was denied access again.

You have been denied access twice, the screen said. Would you like a hint?.

I clicked OK, and read the next dialog box.

Think back to the summertime. You know the password.

I thought for a moment.

Then I entered the password.

Welcome, the screen said.

I was in.

The preceding is a work of fiction. You can find the first six parts of this story on this blog.

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  • 5 Comments:

    Blogger Lish the Fish said...

    Thanks for another chapter. I've been missing it.

    1:29 PM  
    Blogger Air Time said...

    I am trying to get back on the horse. I am going to push myself to keep this going 2-3 times a week.

    1:41 PM  
    Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

    Great. Absolutely great.

    I am waiting eagerly for every chapter. I mean it.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    5:22 PM  
    Blogger da shevster said...

    i dont get how he died exactly...also y ur there in his apartment

    5:41 PM  
    Blogger Krunk said...

    Lovin' it.

    11:13 PM  

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