I walked back to her condo in the rain. Well, technically it wasn’t her condo, it was her roommate’s condo, Antony. His mother owned it and rented it out to him, and Liv stayed there. I was there since I had nowhere to go. The front door was always unlocked since someone kicked it in and broke the bolt. I let myself in.

I climbed the narrow stairway to her room. The room had wooden wall panels and a pine floor. The mattress lay on the floor, no sheets, just a pile of dirty blankets. I wearily took off my boots and lay down while listening to the rain on the roof and thinking about my whole stupid life, how I’d lived and suffered just to end up here. Then I heard her footsteps ascending the stairwell. She came in and looked at me, smiled sadly, then she shut the door and took off her clothes and cuddled up beside me, burying her face in my shoulder. She asked, “How was your day?”

“The Mexicans call me Chivo Loco, in the kitchen, they gave me a nickname.”

“They call you what?” She asked, holding my arm like a child holds onto a stuffed doll.

“Chivo Loco,” I said, “means crazy goat.”

“That’s weird,” she said.

“It’s good,” I said, “it means they have accepted me into their gang. After we shut down the kitchen, they all brought a case of beer to the parking lot and stood around and drank some with me…”

She quickly fell asleep and began to snore gently. Liv’s main goal was collecting boys to sleep beside. I don’t think she could have slept without one. I was there, I think, because she listened, or pretended to listen, and just let me speak.

Soon, another set of footsteps were heard coming up the stairs. Calvin kicked open the locked door, came flying through it, and saw her beside me. “Oh great!” was all he said before heading back down the staircase. Liv jolted out of bed, dressed in a frenzy, and ran off after him. Before long they got to yelling, which made me uncomfortable, so I climbed out the window onto the roof to have a smoke.

There was a red-light bulb up there which cast the side of the building and the yards below in an eerie, electric red tint, which made the place feel more like a brothel, or an entry to hell. I smoked and wondered if I should kill myself. The yelling died down and I got bored, so I climbed back in through the window and sat on the floor and stared at the wall. She was back in no time, doing her hair. Apparently, Calvin had left already. I didn’t ask about their fight. I didn’t care.

I sat there watching her, and she watched me, and neither of us said anything until, at last, she broke the silence, “I’m leaving.”  

“Where are you going?”

“To Florida,” she said.

“Okay,” I said half-heartedly.

“I’m gonna miss you very much, Isaac.”

“No, you won’t,” I said, “you won’t miss me at all.”

“Why would you say that?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered. “I must be crazy.”

“Will you smoke one last cigarette with me? Out front?”


We went downstairs and out the front door. A boy was waiting there in a sports car, a red one. He was in a leather jacket and he had leather gloves on – a young boy, skinny and peach-faced. He offered me some snuff, and I snorted some. It burned my nostrils and throat terribly. Before too long, she climbed in beside him and he revved up the roaring engine. She looked out the window at me sadly, and waved as they pulled away. I smoked two or three cigarettes outside, letting the rain drench me clear through to the bone. Then I went inside, upstairs, and fell asleep, in her bed, in an empty house, to no dreams.