Its like she never existed.
There is no news in the papers or on the television, no updates about the case, no statements about leads, no arrests.
I’ve been to the alley where she was found. The bum has moved on and two others have taken his place. They say they have never heard of him or the murder that took place in their corner of the city. Then they asked me for money to buy liquor.
I often wonder how her parents feel, do they suffer her loss each day, or was she dead to them already?
Hotel California no longer holds the same appeal as it did a few months ago.
For that, I blame Jeanie’s “friend”
There is the sound of someone crying, coming from the stairwell. Sort of like a stop start sobbing.
Brief seconds of silence followed by swallowed gulps and tears.
I can’t tell if it is above or below me.
I have put in my ear plugs, but they do not help. It is almost as if the crying vibrates through my skull, then slips down into the knot in my stomach.
I am unable to sleep.
I am convinced that I have discovered, what appears to be, a time machine in the basement of my apartment.
I found it in the far dark corner of the basement (the furthermost corner from the light bulb and radiator) behind an old upright piano on which stood a few cardboard boxes with the words – “Later” written on them.
Amongst the boxes, I noticed an envelope containing the words – “Hank, pls destroy this one. Thnx”. It was not stuck closed.
Inside was a portrait photograph of a girl standing in what appeared to be a field of freshly cut grass. There was no annotation on the back.
The boxes contained various items of clothing, an old toy car and an empty wallet.
The time machine itself, after moving the piano, had what I took to be a rudimentary seat, much like an old leather one from a bicycle. A whole spectrum of dials, metal buttons and switches was displayed in front of the seat and to the sides, all within easy reach. Behind the seat was a sealed compartment with a small and dirty glass window. I was unable to find a plug or switch for the machine and it appeared dead and cold, like scrap in a junk yard. Through the “inspection” window, however, I could see a faint orange glow and the more I held my hands to the compartment, the more I was sure that it was vibrating and humming at an almost imperceptible frequency.
Before I could entertain any further investigation, I heard noise on the stairs, laughter. But, as I pushed back the piano, I noticed an array of dates at one of the dials on the far side of the seat.
It said – 4 April 1968.