leslie nikole
photo taken by the one and only ghost


leslie.nikole at icloud dot com


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just a little freewrite. gave myself forty minutes in writeroom and miles davis on pandora. 
i haven't written anything in like six months...i feel so rusty. 

"fire escapes and piraguas.txt"

She didn't consider that the windows being able to open only slightly more than a crack would be a problem. Anticipation, future planning, she didn't always get it right. Where winters were cozy with minimal heating bills on a third floor walk-up, summers were sweltering. She spent an entire day trying to get the largest ones, the beautiful wooden framed ones defaced with rusting iron bars painted crudely with cheap black paint, to open only to find that they had no intention of budging. She opted for leaving the fan on in the middle of the studio, blowing the little bit of fresh air from the opened fire escape and guillotine style bathroom window that almost took her hand clean off when she first tried to make it stay open on it's own. A little better, a little cooler. Sometimes it was the little things.

She could see him walking down the street towards her. Confident, but not too confident. Well dressed, well poised, and well kept. She'd have about three minutes to change into something a little classier if it wasn't so hot. From the fire escape, the white dress shirt with light ink splashes on it that no amount or combination of blue soap, rubbing alcohol, and bleach could pull out, would have to do. Adjusting the gold chain on her ankle, she looked up just in time to see the vendor crossing his path, bellowing her sale of life saving piraguas. She watched him stop her, pat his pockets down hastily; finally pulling what could only be his wallet out from behind him. The transaction happened smoothly under the little parasol depicting fine cream coloured sandy beaches, and he kept walking towards her without even once looking up.

It was the last of the apartments on her list, the main requirements including a fire escape sturdy enough to hold her weight for however long it took to complete her daily writing sessions. At the end of a rainy day in October, exhausted and sick of her damp yellow rain jacket, she walked in while the owner absently waited outside, and found home. When she pulled out her check book for the deposit, the building manager stared at her in disbelief for a moment before quoting a cheaper price than what he'd mentioned between chain smokes days prior on the phone.


She'd lost him under the shadow of the building, and in that little slip of time there he was at her front door. First the golden lock with the mossy green detail of the maker's brand name, then the cheap second silver lock in the door handle that looked like something you'd see in any of the schools around the way. A thin line of sweat by his right ear running down underneath his collared shirt and a knowing grin on his face. Two little plastic cups with cheap coloured spoons, packed tightly with shaved ice, flavoured syrup, and topped with condensed milk, held firmly together gathering sweat in the cupped palm of his left hand. She was always quite impressed with the difference in size of his hands, the better grips and lengths he could reach and manipulate that she couldn't even dream of.

She squealed and lunged at the bright red one before moving out of the doorframe to let him in.

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