My next Living Out Loud column in CityBeat will be coming out this week and part of the story I’m telling in the column involves my new neighbor in the apartment building where I live. Her name is Cindy.
I keep having strange encounters with this woman. I’m about to tell another one here.
She knocked on my door on a Sunday evening. There she stood—fairly tall with her short brown hair and brown eyes that always seem to have a blankness to them.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?” she asked.
“Sure, come on in,” I said.
As she entered, she got right to the point.
“Can I buy three cigarettes from you?” she asked. “I’ve got 30 cents.”
“I’ll give you a cigarette,” I said. “I don’t want your money.”
I gave her the cigarette. She thanked me and left.
The next evening, there was another knock on the door. There was Cindy again—again saying “Can I talk to you for a minute.”
“Can I borrow 30 cents?” she asked. “I get a check on Thursday and I can pay you back then.”
She was only asking for a little bit of money, so what the hell? I had 30 cents in my pocket, so I gave it to her. Just like the time before, she thanked me and left.
I didn’t see or hear from Cindy again until Wednesday. On that evening, she came knocking on my door again—same drill as last time.
“Do you have a white onion I could buy?” she asked. “I can pay you 30 cents.”
“I don’t have any onions,” I said.
“I need a white onion.”
“But I don’t have any onions,” I replied. “I’m sorry.”
Cindy left without saying anything. Oddly enough, before she knocked on my door, I was preparing a grocery list. Buying a white onion was on that list.
On Thursday, the day Cindy was going to pay me back the 30 cents she borrowed, I ran into her outside the apartment building. She walked on by me like she didn’t even know me.
I don’t know what it is with her and this 30 cents stuff. I have a feeling this will continue on if I let it. I won’t. Next time I hear a knock on the door, I’m going to pretend like I’m not home or maybe I’ll be at the grocery store buying white onions.
(Photo found on Google)