The Superintendent


My cell phone alarm clock blares. I roll over to face my bedside table and pick up my purple LG phone. I click the snooze button and the screen lights up. 8:30 a.m.

“Ughh,” I grumble. I close my eyes, sigh, and slowly sit up in my oversized t-shirt and Ellen boxers. My feet hang off the side of my bed. I trudge across the cold wood floor of my bedroom onto the colder ceramic floor of my bathroom.

I lean over the black marble counter top and my stomach presses against my glass bowl sink. I stare at myself in the mirror. God, my hair looks gross. Whenever I sleep with my window closed and the covers right up to my chin, I get sweaty and my hair clumps at the top of my head. I look like one of those freakish models who strut down runways wearing overpriced but oh-so-beautiful clothes.

I look down at my t-shirt. The words [email protected] are emblazoned across the black fabric. I bought the t-shirt when I joined [email protected] to be a queer counsellor. Two months have passed and I have yet to counsel anyone.

I pull off my clothes and throw them in a pile across from the sink. I slide open the curved glass doors of my shower and step inside.

“Hello! Hello!” a man’s voice bellows from the living room.

Who the hell is that? I panic and grab a towel and drape it around my body. I live in a condominium with my mother and my cat. Two women, no men: it’s been this way since my parents divorced. My mom leaves for work at 7 a.m. and doesn’t come back till late, so who the hell is this man in my house?

Slam. The front door closes. My cat growls and scratches the wooden floor. I guess she scurried under my bed, her usual hiding place when something scares her.

Okay….okay… He’s gone.

“Hello!” the voice bellows. This time it sounds louder. Is he walking down the hallway?

Oh God, this is one of those horror movie moments, isn’t it? Like in Scream when Drew Barrymore talks to some guy on the phone and then he gets all creepy and says he’s in her house and then she runs outside and her clothes fall off and she looks like a blonde bimbo running around with no clothes and then she dies. I’m gonna die. No no no no no! I don’t wanna die! I am not a blonde bimbo!

Slam. Crash. Pots and pans crash in the kitchen.

What the hell is this guy doing? He’s looking for a knife! Shit, shit —he’s looking for a knife! Okay. That’s it! Nobody comes into my house and kills me! Not without my permission, anyway.—God, what am I saying?

We’ve lived in our condo for over five years now. It’s the longest we’ve lived in any apartment. My mom and I rented apartments for years after my parents’ divorce. This is the first place we’ve owned. And now someone’s breaking in.

“Hey! Hey you! Get out of my house!” I scream as I run down my L-shaped hallway, gripping my bright yellow towel around my pale body.

A man dressed in jeans and a blue golf shirt crouches under my sink. He pokes his head into the cupboard under the sink and clinks and clanks the pipes.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!?” I yell.

Slam. The man hits his head against the wooden frame of the cupboard as he peaks out from under the sink. He looks up at me and I realize it’s my superintendent, a man who just recently moved into the superintendent condo and took the title from Arthur, a grumpy old man who did practically nothing all day long except stand with a dustbuster in the lobby, pretending to clean.

“I…I just checking plumbing. There is leak downstairs and it look like it come from your kitchen. I come to check pipes,” my superintendent stutters. His accent sounds European, but I can’t place it. Definitely not Polish. After 22 years in Canada, my mother still has a thick Polish accent. This guy’s sounds nothing like that.

“Well, nothing’s leaking here! And if something’s leaking downstairs then that’s not my problem or a reason for you to just walk right into my house at 8:30 in the morning!” I yell. “And whatever happened to knocking? You ever hear of that?!”

The man stands up and looks me up and down. From this angle he looks a little less bald. The patch of exposed skin atop his head looks less defined from this angle. He stares at me; his brown eyes bulge. His big forehead crinkles. He stares at my towel that just barely covers the top of my thigh.

“I…I sorry. I check pipes now,” he mutters and pops his head back under the sink.

“Oh no you don’t! You’re done checking pipes, buddy. If it’s leaking, I suggest you call a plumber. I’d like you to leave,” I say and pull open the front door.

“No! I need to check pipes!” He yells.

What the fuck is wrong with

this guy?!

“Get the fuck out of my house!”

He stands up, purses his lips, and mutters something that sounds like “stupid” under his breath.

My superintendent slams the mahogany cupboard shut and walks out of my apartment into the carpeted hallway. I lock the door and slide on the chain lock. He can’t get in now.

I walk back down the hallway, throw off my towel, and get in the shower.