“Freeze scumbag! We’ve got you, don’t try to run.”
James quietly mutters, “Great, another ass on a power-trip….”
The annoyed officer nods, tapping his foot, as James explains the story. “I’m really sorry officer, it won’t happen again.” His partner whispers something to him as James is finishing the story of the encounter.
“Just get home with no more trouble kid, ” demands the impatient officer. “You’re lucky we have other business or I’d drag you into the station. This city needs less guys like you, so straighten up.” The two make their way back to the doors of their patrol car. The partner starts talking into the radio, something about they will be responding to the call. The other officer just shakes his head and peels off. James turns sharply and walks towards home at a nervous pace.
“What a bunch of lazy cops! They didn’t even try to go after the other guy. Why would they? They have me, I am the scapegoat after all. What a bunch of garbage, I can’t belive it sometimes. Maybe I can get home without anymore trouble.”
Finally, the lock is bolted behind him and he leans exhaustedly against the door of room 728. He glances around, one eye half closed, swollen from the exciting walk home. The well-decorated apartment looks like a diamond in the rough compared to the appearance of the building; even though it looks neglected. After all, it is what’s inside that counts. A comfy couch, which gets used more often than anything else, coupled with a messy coffee table make up the majority of the living area. There is no television, Only a radio, a few small tables, and a recliner dot the room. The walls are covered in various forms of art, from Monet and early work from Gauguin, in particular. The room is dark, warm, and inviting. The majority of the lighting is stratigically placed around his favorite pieces for adequate light to view the artwork. This opulently arranged cave is setup more for comfort than functionability. The kitchen is in unruly condition, with items stacked where ever a place can be found. Some things may be weeks or months old, it’s hard to tell. James definately lives on a coming and going basis with no time for life’s little pleasures like clean dishes. Most of the time he is far too focused on a project to even notice the disarray around him. There is only one thing pinned to the refridgerator, and it is a picture of him with a lovely dark-haired girl. Both of which were clearly happy at the time and have the look of lasting love in their eyes, on what appears to be their wedding night. Similar pictures litter the rest of the apartment, especially the bedroom which is in pristine condition. Never used, this room usually sits empty with the door closed. The bathroom appears to be the only normal room in the apartment. Small, but not cramped, it seems this room is the only one that gets any cleaning attention at all.
Half sarcastically, James lets out a sigh as he announces, “Sweet, sweet sanctuary!”
The ache of his newest fashion statement sends him straight to the bathroom; where, the hottest water the apartment building can muster, begins to fill a tiny bathtub. He checks the mirror as the room begins to fog, examining the shiner.
“Who does that over a bump?!?! Seriously!” He plays with and pokes his purple golf ball buried just above the outside crest of his eyesocket. The pale yellow has already spread as far down as his cheekbone, and he can’t help be somewhat reminded of Sloth from Goonies because of the overhang of his new swell of flesh over the right eye.
Surely, it does not compliment his normally magnetic face. His thick dark eyebrows are comparible to springtime caterpillars, thick and burly, but not untamed. His rich eyes, staring out from somewhat shallow sockets, have a unique cherry wood brown-red tint to them. They have a certain warmth that somehow offers quiet tranquility when looked at directly. From his eyes alone, you feel comfort in feeling as if someone cares about you. Perhaps from the warmth of his eyes, or from the way he looks at you with them. His young-looking face is sprinkled with scratchy five o’clock shadow, which seems to never leave, even just after shaving. His small, attractive lips give him an even more childish look and his face is filled in with delicate looking nose. This young-looking, slightly pretty man’s only indication of age is the way he carries his own body. He moves gracefully, and deliberatly, as if with experience. This deliberate aspect of his movement gives an impression that he knows himself well, and regardless of others’ opinions, he marches to his own drum. This could not be more correct. James settles his modest, but carved, frame into the scalding water with a deep sigh of relaxation. Reaching over, he presses the play button on the answering machine placed on a small table next to the bathtub. Clearly, he resides here often.
“Hey James, it’s David. Where are you tonight? You never go out. I was going to go have a drink, if you wanted to get out of that depressing place you call home. Seriously, if you went out more, I bet you would be in a better mood. Things would start working out better for you if you started looking at them better. Call me.”
“Yeah, when I go out, I get fights and police trouble. What a way to feel better.” He places a soaked rag over his bulgy eye.
“James, Will, from work. Just making sure you have that list of stores and presentations for them all set for tomorrow.”
Splashing the water, “Aww shit!”
“Rob wanted me to make sure everything was ready to be sent out, you know how tough things are getting, and he leaves it on our shoulders to save his business. Anyways, don’t forget, see you in the morning.”
“Who starts an advertising firm and doesn’t know how to advertise? Lazy ass should be saving his own business.”
“End of messages, Beep!”
“Not like there are any businesses to advertise for anyways. This forsaken place is a damn dump. Nobody cares how convincing we are, they can’t spare the money to spend it on our clients if they wanted to.”
He soaks the cloth back into the steaming water again, and replaces it over his eye.
“What was I thinking getting into advertising around here? Why is it things just don’t work for me? Is it the town? I just want to make things work. Is that asking so much? I can’t even leave a bar, before dark at that, without getting trouble on my walk home! I guess some of us get lucky, and some of us are doomed no matter what we do. Bah, stop feeling sorry for yourself James, there are people far worse off than you. Could have been left in that alley with the homeless. God, sometimes I wish I would be. Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can figure out how to really shine.”
After soaking in his favorite escape, James gets out of the bath and makes his way to the couch in his fuzzy robe and cozy slippers. Clearly sapped of energy, he drags his laptop across the coffee table. He goes over his advertising works, double checking everything. He may not agree with the way the boss runs the business, and even feels under-appreciated, but that is no excuse for half-complete work. His father’s words echo in his head, “If you do the right thing long enough, people notice. Always do it right, even if they aren’t looking.”