Short story: Jerry's Flat



Just inside the doorway of Jerry's flat, if you take one step in and then turn and look to your right, there's a cupboard of some kind. It's about the height that you could comfortably lean against it with your elbow on the top, if you wanted to look nochalant and a bit devil-may-care.

Jerry never keeps his flat very clean, it's pretty filthy usually. The carpets, which are wall to wall except for the kitchen and the bathroom, are a hairy grey (although who knows what colour they are supposed to be normally) shag-pile and are covered in pills that the carpet has created from itself and the white cat fur and the crumbs and God knows what else. Walking on the carpet is a somewhat unwholesome experience; it requires a strong constitution, a lack of fear of the unknown, and a lack of interest in what gets stuck to the soles of your shoes.

If you make it through the lounge room - which is the room that the front door opens onto, through piles of records and various couches with the stuffing coming out and milk crates turned upside down (some cunningly covered in throws to play the role of tables, but still coming across as essentially milk crate-y anyway) - then you'll find yourself with two options, the kitchen or the hall. I'd recommend the kitchen, because down the hall is the bedroom and the bathroom and most guests are turned off the idea of heading down there by the unpleasantly musky smell of unwashed clothes that drifts out all through that end of the flat. It's been know to make delicate people feel dizzy, and then they've had to sit down on the couch, which certainly doesn't help their sense of general overwhelmed-ness at the whole untidy experience. Whereas, all the kitchen smells of is off milk and catfood.

I do like to visit Jerry, no matter how offensive his house can be. I tend to remember each visit based on what new/old piece of food I find lying around that could win a Nobel Prize: Contributions To Science. And I certainly remember my last visit to him.

I walked up the communal stairs to his flat, and a piece of wholemeal toast caught my eye. It was lying, quite innocently, on the top step of the floor that Jerry's flat is on. it had two bites taken out of the top, and was covered in hair, cold butter, and some kind of jam. And I was so taken with that piece of toast that it wasn't until I got right to Jerry's door that I noticed the door was open, and the police tape across the frame, and the forensic police inside, snapping on pairs of latex gloves and preparing to have the time of their lives.

This is the result of a thirty minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: musky, hairy, dizzy, contributions, and toast.

Image courtesy of frumin.