the crumbs rent
'Oh, this'll do fine'.
'Very good, Mrs. Crumb'. The landlord did not make eye contact the whole time.
'Wait a moment. Let's not be hasty, dear', Mr. Crumb hastened with palm out.
'Oh. But darling, just look at the decor. That sublime ceiling lamp'.
'The natural tilt. The unique shape. And the color!'
'Why, darling, can't you see, the glass shade is the same fabulous tint as the inside of the parlor chair's cushion'.
The kitchen cabinet slipped from its last chance cliff-hanging hold. All three noticed with tilting heads. The landlord cleared his throat and looked down at his shoes in the silence. A rat scratched for mercy inside one of the uninsulated walls.
'And such a lovely oil-cloth for the dinner table'.
The husband faked clearing his throat. He pointlessly smiled at the landlord.
'I don't smell anything, darling'.
'No. The range. Gas or electric, sir?'
'Gas. When it works'.
'Look, you folks sink a hundred dollar bill in this apartment and you got yourselves a real showplace'. A section of glass pane fell onto the floor from a stiff breeze from the narrow brick view outside. It did not shatter. The landlord spoke quickly as an unnecessary diversionary tactic.
'Really? Which one?' Mrs. Crumb looked at the landlord with a surprised expression as though a statue in the park with pigeon droppings was talking to her.
'Renter. A friend that knew a guy that took care of their lawn. One time', his voice fading.
Mrs. Crumb gave a you-see-let's-not-miss-our-opportunity look at Mr. Crumb.
'Yes. I believe we'll take it'!
Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit
photo by Bonnie Beechler