I hope the rest of the ride home isn't too bad for this lil wind-blown spirit. At least they are juiced up. I keep thinking about that person with the black hair looking at me. Who just stares like that? It's so rude. Maybe it's better to have my goggles off in places like so that at least they know that I know that they are staring at me.

If I'm going to this Quicksilver event tonight, I'm probably going to need to go home and get some rest first. I'll need to ask Mix to look it up for me and find out when and where the damn thing is. These fliers like to keep some details hidden in case cops get a hold of them, which they easily could.

The elevator ride up to my floor feels like an eternity. My feet are starting to throb. I didn't really notice until now, but I smell awful. I haven't had an antiperspirant treatment for months. It hasn't been much of a priority since I haven't been spending a lot of time with friends lately. And now I just feel like every day I go without it is a bit of money saved.

The sun reflects off Mix's building into my window. It feels brighter than ever. I pick all my dried up clothes off the line and stuff them into the cupboard. Seeing that other apartment today makes me want to clean my own. I unlock the cord and run around picking up things. I take all the stuffed animals off my bed and try to straighten out the sheets and blankets the best I can. In the process I find an old toy.

It's a small plastic alien figurine. It has that mineral in it that absorbs light and then glows when it's dark. It has large black eyes and is holding an umbrella. I wonder how long it was stuck in my bed. This little alien was the first gift I got from a spirit. I found it in my bedroom when I was a child. I had never seen it before, and everyone who I asked about it told me they didn't put it there. It tormented me that no one would admit that it had been theirs. It must have been somebody's. After a few days of obsessive frustration, I decided that a spirit must have left it there for me. I started carrying it around with me everywhere and pulling it out of my pocket to amuse myself when I was bored. I would invent all kinds of adventures for us to go on and I would tell it stories about itself. It came from a planet that was a twin earth but instead of living on just the land, the aliens all lived deep in the oceans. They feared things falling on them from the towering land masses above, and so they all carried umbrellas.

The longer that I kept it with me, the stronger it became. It wasn't long before I stopped talking to it, but I never seemed to get rid of it. Every time I got a new bag, I would put it inside so that I could keep carrying it with me. I think on some level, even though I wasn't really aware of it, I did believe that it was a gift from a spirit. The spirits I work with now aren't able to give gifts but rather take to objects themselves. The object becomes a part of their body but also a home. I think they do it to keep from drifting off the earth. But there must be so many spirits that have failed to grab hold of something and floated up into the atmosphere. Do the clouds catch them? Or do they just pass beyond them into space? I have never really been able to ask one. They don't appear to understand what I mean by "up above everything" or "up high" but I guess if it did happen to a spirit, or even many spirits, it is not like they would be able to come back and tell everyone. The spirits that I talk to may not be able to give me gifts, but sometimes when I find unexpected thing- I'm sure they are gifts from spirits. Maybe not the ones I work with but different, more elusive, and independently mobile spirits. Maybe they know what happens to a floating spirit. Maybe they aren't aware of each other at all.

I replace the stuffed animals and pillows back onto my bed against the back wall. I gather up all the empty cans and 7-11 cups and carry them out to the garbage chute. When I get back, I see the bucket swinging on the line. Mix has sent me a message.

"-FM 2Day?"

I had forgotten all about Mix's hoodie in my bag. The flea market might be a good place to ask around and get rid of those books though.

"Not yet, but I might go to look for a book seller. Do you know anyone that deals in books in the valley?" I ask him.

"-. Monsters in the Valley. -Go S"

"I don't want to!"

"M Looki?"

"I had to stash them. The police were on my tail."

"Poli? S KNOW4SURE Pol -Here?"

"I'm sure. They just checked my ID and left. Don't worry."

"Mix+S Need Nu takitaki. -Poli plz"

I try to imagine police coming into this building. Looking into each door of the unit until they found mine. Those two idiots from today in my room, looking around at my stuffed animals and stereo and underwear hanging to dry. There are at least 2 dozen violations happening in plain sight. I don't think they will be too concerned with the weird cord and bucket situation. Mix is very paranoid about police though. I wonder what is in their apartment that makes them so worried. I decide to ask them. They tell me that they have been arrested before and questioned. They never want to go through that again. They said that they take more from you than your contraband and that there is no taking it back because there is no way to know what they took."

I get a call on my headphones. It's Lime. She hasn't contacted me in so long. I settle into my newly made bed and answer it.

"Oh, hello," I say in my most casual of voices.

"Suggaarrr I'm bbooorreedddd..." she wines at me.

"That's not my fault," I say, grabbing the big round pink rabbit-like plushie from behind me and plopping it in my lap.

"Come over and hang out with me. I've been sitting around here all day and I'm sick of it. I want to do something fun."

A thousand possibilities for what Lime might mean by "fun" fly through my mind. Many of them are horrifying and involve going out together. Maybe she'll want to go with me to this last run of the day. She likes retrograde stuff.

"Yeah, alright," I reply. I stand up and toss the bunny back into the bed and reach for my backpack. My water bottle is almost empty.

"J is being extra annoying because some stupid celebrity just contacted him about doing a shoot."

"What celebrity?" I ask before chugging down the rest of my water bottle.

"Uhg don't even ask. I don't want to talk about it. You can ask him. My point is that it's miserable here and all the other girls are out working right now and I can only hide in my room for so long. I'm getting cabin fever, Sugar." Lime goes on to complain for minutes about all the things she has tried to do to occupy herself and how they have all failed to bring her any satisfaction. I start to realize there is no way we aren't going out. Maybe after a couple drinks she will be more likely to agree to go to the party.

"Where do you want to go? I can just meet you wherever," I suggest.

"I don't know... and I'm nowhere near presentable. I've been rolling around here all day! Head over right now and I'll get in the shower," she says. "I am heading out the door right now."

"Okay good. I'll look around for something to do first."

"No!" I snap. "Get in the shower right now. I don't want to get there and have to talk to J for hours waiting for you to even emerge."

"When have I ever kept you waiting?" Lime coos and hangs up.

I was sitting on a long bench between 4 people who are furiously arguing about the price of something I have never heard of. My ass was falling asleep and so was I. Lime burst out of the door. Her dark skin glowed in the dispersed light, her eyes glittered green. "Sorry for keeping you waiting!"

I was laying on an astroturf lawn on the roof of a building downtown. Helicopters buzzed overhead and interrupted my soothing grey noise recording. The heavy metal door swung open. "Sorry for making you wait!" Lime called from the stairwell.

It was dark with booming music and bright flashing green lights. I was surrounded by people pushing and heaving. I closed my eyes. All the people disappeared. My heels lifted off the ground. My toes barely touched the floor. I floated up and moved with the wave. I felt a set of fingers attempt to wrap around my waist and I snap open my eyes and fling around to whack whoever was touching me. But it was Lime. "I BARELY MADE IT BACK TO YOU! SORRY!" she screamed over the music. "HUGE LINE AT THE BAR!"

I hook the bottle onto my belt and grab my backpack. It smells, but not as bad as I do. I pour some grey water into the bathtub and try to splash it on me. I fill a rag with shampoo and try to clean out my armpits from outside the tub. I get water everywhere. I hang the rag up to dry and spot the plastic alien figure on my bed. I snatch it up and introduce it to the spirits in my backpack. They envelop it and move it between each other, their eye spots rolling around.

Outside the air has already started cooling down and I regret getting water all over my sports bra. I try to keep my arms up on the skate over to Lime's to help dry myself out and air out this nasty backpack.

©2018 by Zita