The Continuing Adventures of Macaroni McSpoon
by Scott Hefflon
“What to do? What to do?” Mac muttered as he ascended the seven steps to the front door. The apartment building stared blankly back at him, offering no help. It seemed content ignoring everyone, and maybe bursting a water pipe every now and then when it got bored.
Today, it decided to shut down it’s water heater. “It’s my water heater,” The building justified to no one in particular, “I’ll shut down anytime I want.” The tenants seemed to think otherwise.
The landlord had been receiving insulting, griping, threatening phone calls all morning. The building had not decided to shut off the phone service today. The landlord wished it had made a package deal while it was on a roll. The building ignored his wish.
The landlord was, therefore, in a bad mood as he stormed up the seven steps to the front door. He roughly elbowed past Mac to get to the door. He offered an insincere, “‘scuse me, Mac” in passing. Mac had learned to live with complete strangers calling him by name. He would have chalked it up to a bad memory, but never seemed to have any chalk with him at the time. By the time he did locate some, he had forgotten why he’d needed it. Mac had been happily watching the building settle, but now that he’s been interrupted and the landlord had unlocked that stubbornly locked door, he decided to go in.
He stood quietly beside the now-infuriated landlord as he repeatedly stabbed the elevator button. Nothing was happening (with the elevator, at least. Various somethings were happening elsewhere, but we’ll get to that), so the landlord began an incomprehensible ranting about a temperamental pile of bricks. Mac listened politely, seeing as how they were supposedly on a first name basis. He realized he’d never come across a temperamental pile of bricks before, and wanted to make a mental note to do so. He asked the landlord if he had a greasepen. He didn’t, but he handed Mac a pencil which he stuck behind his ear and immediately forgot.
“Ya know, I’ll tell ya, Mac,” The landlord began telling Mac, commanding his wandering attention, “This day is really beginning to suck shit.” Mac remembered the time he’d sucked shit. He wanted to make a mental note to tell the day that sucking shit is a really gross and highly addictive habit, but he still didn’t have a greasepen. The landlord continued, “I mean, the day started out fine. Nothing happened. Now the water heater and the elevator are on the fritz. God!” Mac was about to correct the name mix up, but the landlord had huffed away toward the stairs. Mac watched him huff. When he was gone, the elevator purred to life. The doors opened, Mac got in, and the doors closed. He stood there for quite some time having claustrophobic memory flashes of his two year stint as a part-time closet astronomer. Finally, someone called for the elevator and Mac went with it.