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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.”