I lived in Bankville. The apartment block housed a dozen families. The building looked ordinary until a condo meeting decreed it needed painting. They chose salmon pink. The house turned from a nondescript white cube to a party favor.
Life was easy. I had several friends: a guy obsessed with tractors, the Butcher’s Son, the Bitch, and the Brother of the Bitch.
The Butcher’s Son was way younger than us and had a tiny dog. The Brother of the Bitch was a slight child with a big head. He had a bad habit. Their windows overlooked the entrance of the building, which made it an ideal spot for peeing from the balcony. He held it till someone was walking to the front door, then he broke the seal. He had a good aim.
The Bitch dressed like a cheap prostitute. Layers of heavy makeup and tons of hair gel finished off her look. And those fishnet stockings! She had started while still in elementary school (I mean wearing make up, not walking the streets). That’s why my mother referred to her as the Tart, the Gipsy, or the Thief. The last one was because she caught her stealing from a hide in my bedroom. The banknote was well concealed inside a stuffed animal, I have no idea how she found it. Could she smell it? Maybe. She was born with an instinct for crime.
Until then, we had been besties. She liked Michael Jackson. She was a compulsive liar and manipulative. She bit her fingernails. We communicated through knocking on the wall that divided our flats. Our parents complained. The knock-knock meant “I’m ready to go out – meet you downstairs”.
We played outside. Volley was a favourite, so were bikes, hopscotch and building huts. No, not huts: miniature condos. Tractor Man provided the cardboard boxes and other material discarded by his parent’s hardware shop. He was a natural retailer: he knew all the item codes, drank thinner and ate sawdust (figuratively). He looked forward to taking over the family business one day. We liked each other, and the bitch became jealous. She craved for attention. She played mischief, made up things, and of course played innocent. Big mistake. We were young, but we weren’t born yesterday. We trashed her.
One day the two siblings got a mynah bird. First thing, they taught him to say “Mr. Hideousheart is an asshole”. Mom slapped her in the face, with her mother’s endorsement.
Tractor Man was spoiled. He would invite me at his place, then would not let me use his toys. In his early teens he realized he didn’t really want to drive a tractor: he’d rather be a deejay. The beat became too loud. A quarrel over music volume put an end to our friendship. Then I moved.
Written in response to Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters