Friday, October 7, 2011

A Serenade in D (for Desire)

First published in MicroHorror (2008)

It says V. Westerman on her mailbox. I call her Victoria. She moved into the apartment above mine eight months ago, and my life’s been one long symphonic poem ever since. If it wasn’t for Frank, I would’ve asked her out by now.

She’s standing at the head of the line waiting for the bus with her friend A. Zelnick. They’re both tall. They have slim builds, dark hair, and their voices remind me of Julie Andrews’. They could be sisters, but they’re not. I remember the day shortly after Victoria moved in when they met at the mailboxes and introduced themselves. I stood off to one side and acted like I was reading my mail while I inhaled Victoria’s fragrance and listened to her genteel laugh.

They work in a legal office in the high-rise across the street from where I toil as the director of the local arts council. I know this because I rode up the elevator with them one day. Victoria acted like she didn’t recognize me. I waited for her to press a button and then selected 12, two floors above hers. The door opened, and they stepped into an area that contained the offices of Klein, Armour, Franks and Celeste, Attorneys at Law. I assume Victoria and A are paralegals. They don’t dress in suits or carry the kinds of briefcases I associate with lawyers. Someday when A’s not around, I’ll ask Victoria.

It’s been six days since Frank’s been in her apartment. Maybe they’re not seeing each other any longer. He’s not right for her anyway. Unlike my Victoria, he’s a horny rabbit.

One Saturday, I awoke to the sounds of her mattress squeaking and two people moaning. I looked at the clock on the table next to my bed. It was 7:53. I pulled the pillow and covers over my head and went back to sleep. The adagio movement of their erotic symphony started at 9:30 and lasted almost an hour. When the rondo commenced at 1:30, I went to a matinee. I returned home after dinner and saw them kissing in front of the elevators. His hands were all over my Victoria, like an orchestra conductor urging the musicians to a Wagnerian climax.

When I entered my apartment, I heard the introduction to the final allegro in progress, and left for another movie. A spirited encore was underway when I returned. Poor Victoria. Why didn’t he leave her alone?

The sounds of squealing brakes interrupt my reverie when the bus pulls up to the stop. The doors open and the melody in my heart strikes a dissonant chord when Frank exits. He and Victoria look at each other for a few seconds before she melts into his arms like butter on a hot English muffin, and they lock lips.

Damn, I guess Frank isn’t as ex as I thought. Oh well, one fish does not an ocean make, as my mother used to say whenever I told her about another lost love. I avert my eyes to A, look her over and wonder if she might make a worthy partner for my next pas de deux.

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