"working on my faults and cracks..."


Coldest of Calendars II

Daikin-san finally blessed my apartment with his constructive customer service after work yesterday. Stood up on his tippy toes and poked at the heater, scribbled in his notepad, jiggled my windows, sniffed around my porch, ran outside, then ran back inside and excitedly warned me not to turn it on "until he gets back." He dashed out the door leaving me in my genkan deeply puzzled, and still holding his pen.

Flash forward to this morning. Woke up in frigid dismay: the Speed Stick applied after last night's shower had frozen in my armpits. UnderArmor, hung up to dry, had fallen down and shattered on the floor, while the small troupe of roaches who play Mahjong under the fridge, were huddled around a tiny firing barrel in the middle of the kitchen, warming their stickly paws. Undoubtedly using the broken pieces as fuel.

Ironic that the two warmest places in my tiny apartment are the exhaust vents on my PS3, and my heated toilet seat.
Hopefully tonight is the last night I'm forced to play Warhawk from the bathroom. Getting kinda cramped in there for my nightly controller chucking tantraums.

** UPDATE: 6:00pm **

I was surprised to find Daikin-san patiently waiting for me when I arrived home this evening. Apparently his love for air-conditioning/heating units knows no bounds; the pup tent outside my door indicated he had long since been anticipating finishing what he started.
As my key snapped the door bolt open, like a Pavlovian dog, he sprang to action, swept past me in the doorway, and leapt to the heater above my bed. Not before removing his shoes first though. As he pried open the unit cover, I swore I could hear the yelping of tortured animals inside. A thin stream of blood began to trickle down past the remote sensor and on to my pillow below.

"Aah... Yappari sou da" he mumbles thoughtfully, snapping his left hand into a single yellow rubber glove.

Suddenly, he plunges his fist deep inside the machine, arm twisting this way and that, before pulling out a clump of fur--a dead rat. Then another dead rat.
Then a tangled mess of human hair--black, possibly a wig.
The industrial plastic bucket next to the bed clatters to life, slowly filling as the helpless heater surrenders its foul quarry.
More hair. Another rat--still live. A pentagram. A glob of candle wax. A single-handed dagger, its blade twisted and warped. A fourth rat, but only the tail this time.
And suddenly, the wall-mounted beast goes silent.

"Dekita!" he exclaims, triumph spreading across his bespectacled face.

Like a realtor handing the keys to a new homeowner, he places in my bewildered palm the unit's remote control.

"Mou, daijyoubu yo.
Shinpai shinai de.

I turned towards the kitchen to rinse the blood from the remote, but when I returned, he was gone.

Glorious warmth.

5 contributions to this piece:

Anonymous said...

What no centipedes?

Valerie said...

I was expecting a cat, myself. Everytime my heat goes out it's because some ruffian cat has decided to move its illegal catnip trade in. That's NEVER good news. Next come the prosticats, and the mouseaholics. Pain in the ass it is getting rid of that lot, it is.


I don't really know where that came from, sorry.

Dagbert said...

The first time I read that, I thought you had said "Russian" cat.
Makes sense I guess--Russian cats are reputed to rule the catnip black markets.

No centipedes because they're no joking matter. Too credulous.

Valerie said...

Ahh yes, the Russian cats. Led by Ratsputin, infamous sorcerer who could not be killed, no matter how much arsenic he was fed. It took cutting of his (rather long) tail to do the trick.

Zach said...


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