April 23


It was a dark and gloomy night. 7:30 p.m. State Street looked like if it was part of an old and haunted ghost town, with the exception of a homeless man taking a nap on a public bench, a young adolescent coming out of the bookstore with a copy of Kafka’s The Trial, and a woman standing alone on the corner of State and Canon Perdido.

Her name was Paola. She had on a short, red dress, and long blond hair. Her lips and shoes matching the dress, her hair complementing her Caucasian skin tone. No, she wasn’t a prostitute. She was waiting for Paul, her boyfriend.

She looked at the logo behind her, while gently hiding some of her hair behind her ear. “Borders, Book Store,” she said out loud, confidently knowing that the napping homeless was not close enough to listen to her soliloquy, and the teenager was halfway on the other side of the street. She then looked at the main entrance and was happy to see that they were going out of business soon. “Hopefully they open up a clothing store,” she said, cheerfully.

But of course, she wasn’t there because it was fun to look at signs. She’d been waiting for Paul a lot longer than what she anticipated. “Fifteen minutes is a long time,” she said, as a reddish blush of anger appeared on her cheeks.

She hated to be there. It was so frustrating. But it wasn’t just the ‘waiting’ part that irritated her. No, it was more than that. In fact, she was a little bit possessive and couldn’t help but think that Paul was fucking another woman in his office; added to that the fact that she didn’t know where his office was.

Paul never told her.

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August 9

The Girl With The Blue Umbrella 

Waking up at 4:00 am to go to work at McD’s, where homeless were the number one customers, wasn’t enjoyable to Jonathan, anymore; to add further disgrace, imagine when it was a rainy morning. Thankfully, though, his house on De La Vina Street was about five blocks away from his work, which made his reality a bit less painful. That morning, walking under the rain, with nothing but a plastic trash bag he used as a shirt and a McD’s tray shielding his head, he wished he wasn’t working that day.

He had a feeling.

A weird one.

Nothing he ever felt before.

The streets were half-deserted at 4:15 am; only the Shell Gas station on the corner of Chapala and Carrillo sheltered a couple of hobos drinking coffee under its roof, protecting them from the rain. He walked further onto Carrillo to step onto State Street. Then, he turned left and looked north, somewhat thankful he was three blocks away from his final destination.

The rain was getting a bit heavier, which caused sprinkles of water to slither through his neck, soaking his shirt inside. “Damn it!” he said. “I need a fucking umbrella!”

He saw another homeless under the roof of a jewelry store, sipping coffee and talking to his dog; the dog was looking at his owner with attention, trying to understand his language.

“This is bad,” Jonathan said, “these homeless people drinking coffee at four in the morning and I have to go to work?” He shook his head, thinking just how unfair life was. “I hate these people.”

When he was walking by the corner of Anacapa and State, next to the one and only Old Navy store in town, he saw a person (indistinguishable because of the distance) sitting on a bench outside the McD’s store, holding a blue umbrella.

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August 9

Everybody Is Dead

Waking up at 3:00 am wasn’t funny. It was scary. Mostly after having watched a horror movie featuring a priest who explained the meaning of ‘the dark hour’ to a jury, and listened to an Eminem’s song with the same subject. Peter was afraid he’d pee in his pants after recalling those things. Besides, he’d never experienced such a fear before, just thinking about something as mundane as a Hollywood flick and a rapper’s song.

He shook his head, trying to get rid of those thoughts and think about something more positive. In all honesty, it seemed impossible to be positive at 3:00 am. He rose to his feet, and walked to the bathroom, a routine he normally follows when he wants to take a leak. This time, though, Peter just wanted to stand up. Not an apparent reason whatsoever.

Opening the bathroom’s door, and switching the light on, Peter was taken aback by his reflection in the mirror. “Oh my God!” he said, looking perplexedly at the smears of blood he had on his once-upon-a-time white shirt and the sprinkles that covered his face. Blood spatter, as they say in Dexter, one of his favorite TV shoes. He froze, unable to find a reasonable explanation. Maybe because there wasn’t one?

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