“How ya doing, Henry?”
“I ain’t doing so well,” he said.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Ain’t got no money to go buy cigarettes,” he said.
In case you’re wondering if Henry is a bit country, you’re wondering right. I consider him a good old boy with this worn T-shirt and baseball cap. Henry is also one skinny guy. He probably weighs no more than a hundred pounds.
“You ain’t got any cigarettes on ya?” Henry wanted to know. I did and I gave him one.
“I’m gonna save it for later,” he said. He put the smoke in his T-shirt pocket.
“Are you still living on the third floor?” I asked. “I haven’t seen you around.”
“My stuff is still there,” Henry replied.
“Does that mean you’re still living there?”
“I ain’t gonna tell you,” Henry said.
“I know you talk to the landlord.”
“What does that mean?”
“I ain’t gonna say.”
“Are you still working?” I asked.
“I ain’t working right now,” he said.
“Do you mean you’re not working right this minute or you’re not working in general?”
“I ain’t been working for the past couple weeks, can’t get motivated,” Henry said.
I got up from the bus bench feeling a little frustrated with my upstairs neighbor.
“I’ll see you around, Henry,” I said.
“I guess you ain’t got another cigarette you can give me?” Henry asked. Against my better judgment, I gave him one more.
“Now you ain’t gonna tell the landlord you saw me, right?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Just askin’” Henry replied.
Walking home, I concluded that Henry probably isn’t my upstairs neighbor anymore because he hasn’t paid his rent and he’s afraid to show his face around the building because he doesn’t want to run into the landlord who will demand money from him.
No. I won’t say anything to the landlord about seeing Henry. I ain’t getting involved in this mess.
(Image from veryfunnyshirts.com)