“I actually didn’t enjoy that. Except for the part where I kicked Mrs. Shew the hell out.” Mike threw himself onto the sofa.
“You might want to shower, Mike,” I said. “We’d all like to use the sofa and you don’t smell like roses.”
“Oh, God. I’m used to smelling like bird shit,” Mike groaned. He dragged himself off of the sofa and into the bathroom. We heard the water zinging into the tub. Moira and I looked at each other and raced for the guest bathroom. She beat me to it, and I danced from one foot to the other, waiting for her to come out. Bethel peed on a corner of one of Mrs. Shew’s oriental rugs, as if to mock my suffering. An eternity later, Moira came out and I sought relief. I brushed my teeth after I used the toilet. I didn’t even care whose toothbrush it was.
When I came out, Moira was rummaging around the kitchen. “We haven’t eaten in forever,” she said. My stomach sprang into action and grumbled. “Hell,” Moira’s voice was muffled with her head inside of the fridge, “they’ve got fresh chicken in here. Where the hell did they get fresh chicken?”
“I don’t care,” I said. “Let’s eat it.”
We all plopped down on the sofa to eat Moira’s fried chicken and to watch the test pattern on the TV. There hadn’t been anything to go with the chicken in the kitchen, but we hadn’t bothered opening any of our cans. Plain old fresh meat was so delicious that we didn’t want anything else.
“We can’t leave our food here,” I worried. “You know they still have keys.”
“I’m not pushing that damned hamper another step,” Moira declared between bites.
“I’ve got it covered,” Mike said. “Mrs. Shew has a safe in the bedroom behind that huge portrait of herself. You don’t know how hard it is to try to sleep with that thing looking at me,” he added.
“She’ll have the combination to that safe, Mike,” I reminded him. “It’s her place.” He glared at me. “Her place that she rents to you,” I corrected myself.
“She left it open one day,” he said. “I was really pissed off. She’d staggered in here at 3am and ordered me out. So, I changed the combination.”
“Oh, wow,” Moira looked at Mike admiringly. “What is in there?”
“A bunch of autographed pictures of Leslie Uggams and Tim Conway,” he said. “I figure we can throw those out.”
We were briefly merry at the thought of Mrs. Shew’s distress upon discovering that she couldn’t get into her safe, and then later discovering that her pictures were gone. We were so tired that anything was funny. Then, we heard the elevator open in the hallway.
“Old lady cat poop patrol,” Moira said. She got up and waltzed to the door and threw it open. We caught sight of the person in the hallway, and it wasn’t either of the old cat hoarders. It was BJ. He had a cat by the scruff of the neck, and he was shoving it into a leather Gucci bag.
Moira quickly shut the door.
“Holy shit. Cat tastes just like chicken,” she said. She turned green, but said defiantly, “I’m not throwing it up.”
“That old bastard,” I said. “I’ll kill him if he tries to eat my dog.”
“I’m not thrilled that I ate a cat,” Moira said. “They walk around in their own poop and they lick their own butts.”
“I’m exhausted and I don’t care what I ate. She ate a rat.” Mike pointed at me. “Let’s go to bed.”
When we went to bed, we literally all went to the same bed. It was a huge bed. A California King, which is bigger than a king sized bed. I’d never even seen one before. There was no point in anyone taking a sofa or the floor with that aircraft carrier of a bed in the apartment.
Mike opened the window long enough to toss Mrs. Shew’s big portrait out into the pale dawn light, and we all piled into the bed and were immediately asleep.