“Okay.” He turned and went outside of the apartment.
The Landlord was still asking for the rent that was due, October’s rent. He opened his billfold to show the Landlord he was broke.
“I don’t get it.” The tenant told the Landlord.
Cole McKnight took his boy’s hand, raised it, added “You’re going to kick us out of our apartment, and my little boy, how can you do this, have you no heart?”
“If ever I watched a man drink as much as you, waste all his money on booze, and then ask the landlord to overlook the rent, you Mr. McKnight got a lot of guts—it’s your problem, not mine—isn’t he your boy?”
“Correct,” Cole said, standing on the front of the cement steps to the duplex, at 269 Goodhue Street, unsure of what next to say.
“You’re the father, not me,” said the landlord.
“Right,” replied Cole in a near whisper, dumfounded, lost for words as if in some stupor.
“Then I think there is no question, whose problem and responsibility this is.”
Cole shook his head (as if some insight had struck him).
“All right,” he said “I’ll be out in three days.”
It wasn’t much to look at thought the landlord, after Mr. Cole McKnight, and his boy vacated the premises; as the landlord and his wife started cleaning up the apartment.
Boxes pressing against one another filled with beer cans and bottles, and wine bottles and whiskey bottles filled the corner of the kitchen, and empty cigarette packages were lying here and there. The toilet was plugged. The curtains in the kitchen were flopping in the wind, blowing in fresh air.
“We’ll stop now, rest,” he told his wife.
“I’ll just have a look on the porch,” said his wife. She gasped and coughed at the smell and sight. Her husband appeared to have no reaction. “You see the garbage they left?” She commented to her husband (it was old news for him).
No: 629 (Written 12-2-2010)