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The rain might wreck some of the books but it doesn’t matter because they’re all for free anyway. Nearly everything I own is in the alley by my block of flats. There is a cardboard sign that says FREE STUFF. People are waiting for someone to take something. Once one person does, it’s okay for everyone to. In my flat, I wear my suit and vacuum the carpet. It’s easier to vacuum when everything is outside. I finish vacuuming. My vacuum is a Henry, with a smiling face.
I take Henry downstairs and put him in the pile of FREE STUFF. I clean the bathroom. I dust. The detergent and polish go out in the alley. I fold the duvet that was here when I moved in and put it on the bare mattress. The bedsheets are outside, FREE STUFF. The flat looks like it did the day I moved in.
In the flat it’s me, my suit, the stuff that was here when I moved in and a telephone cord. Everything else is FREE STUFF outside. I go into the bathroom. My body feels like a badly fitting costume I’ve been wearing for years. Last week I tested the shower rod and it can hold my weight. At first, I make the loop of telephone cord too small and it doesn’t fit over my head. I tie the other end to the shower rod.
I put my head into the telephone cord noose. Balance on the rim of the bath. The trick is to ease myself off one foot at a time. That way, I avoid snapping my neck and living another forty or fifty years as a quadriplegic. My feet dangle, the toes of my dressy shoes inches from the tiles. Spots in my vision. Things start to blur. I look around the bathroom. There’s a dust bunny in the corner that I missed when I cleaned.
The bathroom window is open and outside someone says “Hey, sweet! Free stuff.”
Nick Sadler writes strange stories, which he is only really able to describe as "about stuff". He likes music and Mexican food, and will travel hundreds of miles for either. As a day job, he is a travelling suit salesman.
He was born in 1989, and likes coffee and Irish whisky, but seldom together. He likes hats, but doesn't really suit them. He has a cat, but is not a "cat person". It's OK, though, because the cat in question acts more like a dog.