Archibald woke up on top of trash. Typical. But this time his shoes were gone. He rises up and dangles the bare tootsies over the grate to the underground. Where he stayed, he remembered, either in Apt 1 or Apt 2. The only 2 down there, not counting Black Bart’s old place, which was unfit to live in at the moment. They must have dropped down through the grate while I was stirring in my sleep, he rationalizes, but then realized someone could have taken them, maybe the other from the underground. Black Bart? Nah, he’s gone; the rumors couldn’t be wrong what with all that happened before to the poor, pitiful dude. Joey his neighbor? Could be for a prank. They were kind of seeing each other and kind of not. It was one of those “it’s complicated” relationships. He recalls, in his hangover-ish grogginess, that she keeps seeing things bleed through from the other side. Like that yellow marker the other day that *wasn’t* a yellow marker. Like, well, *me*, he then thought, dusting the dust off his pants and standing. Portals — yes. The dream comes back. A girl went through who specializes in burger, then he emerges in this burg so he becomes her burger. Strange thought. He opens the grate and moves down the ladder, ready to confront Joey with the theft, careful not to step on anything sharp or slippery. Difficult, because there’s so many things like that about the place. The underground, pheh, he ruminates as his socked feet touch the bottom. And people thought that was only confined to the dreams man made. Man-made dreams.
He walks up the stairs to the viable apartments, not hearing anything behind Black Bart’s old one downstairs for a change. But he hasn’t much hope the silence will last.
(to be continued)