Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jose Mendoza: Part III

Two uniformed officers appear. I discuss underwear, lamps, kitchen curtains. They nod and write things down. I give them a little tour, explaining the tape. At first I’m afraid they’ll think I’m nuts. In the end, I think they’re a little impressed with my scotch-tape trap.

Do I know who is doing it?

I have a suspicion. Guy who lives upstairs. I think his name is Mendoza.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jose Mendoza: Part II

“I need to ask you a question,” I said.
“Did you take a little, um, memento of me out on the road with you?”
Silence on the other end of the phone.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“My pink bra is missing.”
“And you think I took it?”
“And the matching panties.”
“You’re losing your underwear? Sounds like I should ask what you’ve been doing.”
“Seriously, Eric. That’s the expensive stuff.”
“Seriously, Karen. Why would I do that?”
“Well, okay. I know why I might do that. But no, I don’t have it.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bird Poop on the Window and Jose Mendoza: Part I

I was feeling cosy and content last night, lying on the couch in my newly-remodeled living room, clicker in hand, when Annabel started going bonkers at the window. She'd been hanging out on her window seat, then she started jumping up and down, batting at the window.

Bug, I figured. She kept it up. But I couldn’t see a bug, then I noticed that there seemed to be a splotch on the window. Weird. So I dragged myself over there to look. Yep, bird poop. No way to clean it off, either. I live on the second floor. And it’s odd. Five years in this apartment and it's never happened before. So I looked out the window, and up, taking into consideration the gutters, then asked Annabel “How did that bird manage that, anyway?”

And I was suddenly having a flashback.

I had done a similar thing one spring night in 1988. I lived in a garden floor apartment in Des Plaines, Illinois. I was standing in the bedroom when I noticed some odd stains on the window. I went closer and looked at them, looked out, and up. Sheer brick wall. And I asked Charlie, my cat, who was sitting on the window sill, “How are those birds pooping on that window like that?”

The answer to my question was: Birds weren't. But I wouldn't know that for a couple of months. This was only the first odd thing that I noticed in a series of odd things that, together, add up to just about the scariest thing that's ever happened to me.