By A.M. Symes
Marv is knocking on the wrong door. He lives next door with his wife, Marlene. That is, he used to live next door with his wife, Marlene, until she kicked him out after he broke her jaw. But Marv was blackout drunk. How can she hold him responsible for what he did when he was blackout drunk? He does not feel guilty for her broken jaw. He was blackout drunk. It wasn’t his fault.
Marv is still knocking, pounding, kicking at the wrong door. Marv is at Jen’s door. Jen lives next door. She’s lived next door long enough to know Marlene’s nickname is Witch and Marv’s nickname is Dick. She actually knew the old couple as Witch and Dick for almost three months before she learned their real names, when their social security checks first showed up at her door. She learned to love the old couple’s real names after forging their signatures. It is fun to swirl the Ms and Ns of Marvin and Marlene Munce.
The door frame splinters, and Marv falls into the apartment. Marlene hears him swearing and hears the heavy thud of his body crashing through the neighbor’s door. She should get out of bed, drag him back to their own apartment—no, it’s just her apartment now—and hope the Jack Daniel’s is far enough through his system that he will pass out quickly. Or she can stay in bed and pretend not to hear his ruckus. The woman next door—is her name Jennifer?—is young and able bodied enough to take care of a drunk man. Marlene has seen enough men stagger in and out of Jennifer’s apartment at all hours; let the young lady take care of Marv tonight.
Marv calls out for his wife. Witch. He trips over an ottoman he did not give Marlene permission to buy, then he hits the floor, laughing and cursing into shag carpet he doesn’t remember. Lost social security checks my ass, he thinks, as he tries to push himself up. She’s been hoarding the checks for herself, buying ottomans and shag carpet and God knows what else. The room pressure changes; someone is behind him. His wife is sneaking around him now? Marv balls up his fist, waiting for the right moment to teach her a lesson for taking his money.