Creative Arts - Deb Carlen, Editor

The Never-Was-There Guy

By Earl Blue

I hide in the attic of this house and I don’t come down until everyone is gone. I do my thing in the house all day long, then I go back into the attic and try not to bump around too much.

The attic was like an apartment for their son who died in the war. His room was kept as he left it, with sports banners, posters and a short basketball hoop. It was over the sink i used to wash and piss in. I never shot baskets. Too much bumping in the attic.

When everyone’s gone the whole place is mine. I use everything. The coffee maker, microwave, stereo, the stationary bicycle, everything. I go easy on the toilet paper and the leftovers in the refrigerator , but generally I make my food at home in the attic. When I leave the downstairs, I leave it exactly as I found it. I am totally compulsive about it. Maybe that was my downfall.

Last month they hired a cleaning lady. I don’t understand why. The place is always immaculate thanks to the Mrs., and of course, myself. A cleaning lady indeed. She comes once a week on Thursdays from ten to one and leaves the place a mess. Certainly not to standards of the Mrs. and myself. And she would run a half-empty dishwasher at full cycle. She had no idea how to fold linens, and now she’s over-watering the plants and killing them. I come down after she’s gone to clean up, as I said, to our standards. I have to go behind her back to wipe out the stainless sink.

I guess I went overboard. I turned down and put mints on the bed, put a nosegay in the Mrs.’s underwear drawer and organized his ties from dark to light. It was too much for the housekeeper and she stopped showing up.

I guess she was spooked.

Everything is pretty much back to normal now, except I miss the action. I just may have to move, and I do love it here.

Where else could I find a place so nice?

How about…your house?

Earl Blue
“Leave out the part that I played bass with Django Reinhardt and also leave out that I played with Mel Tormé and Hoagy Carmichael. Leave out my award-winning travel documentary about China, The Li River.

“And leave out the part where I was Director of Prisoner Services for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and Program Director for San Francisco State University’s Community Education. And leave out the part about the hit Piano Bar shows; don’t mention all that stuff.

“You can say I retired to Sonoma about 30 years ago. I live on South Broadway with my wife and daughters,
grandkids, assorted pets and and a big barn with a flower shop in it.”

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