Frank woke up to the itch of something under his back, rolling over on the filthy sheets he found nothing but quickly figured out what is was and pried the used cigarette butt off his back using the compliant edge of the door hole to the hallway. There had never been a door there for all the time Frank had rented the studio apartment from the Kaszynski family. It was a good arrangement. The flat was never properly maintained or inspected and Frank paid his bills in cash on time and everybody saved on the difference.
All his clothes hung on a stolen store rack. He hadn't stolen it though he had stolen other things in his life.
After the triple S in the toilet (Shit Shower Shave) Frank was transformed, clean, pressed suit, sharp features, he didn't invite anyone over unexpectedly so those who knew him would never have guessed that he often let his laundry rot on the floor next to spilled take-out boxes and rancid pizza.
Everyone knows someone deeper into shit than they are and Mickey was the guy Frank did allow to come over. Mickey would crawl out of his parent's basement and knock on the ground floor balcony door and Frank would let him in wearing a pyjama top but no bottom and they'd sit on a genuine original foam and particle board couch from the seventies (the most comfortable couch ever created) and watch movies on tape while speculating on when the black puddle of what was once potatoes at the back of the fridge (broken since always) would evolve opposable thumbs and let itself out for a walk.
Suffice to say, Frank kept no pets, he claimed it was in honour of an Australian girl who'd roomed with Mickey years ago. She used to recount how her mother never let her or her brothers keep pets on account of how they killed them for fun.
They would go to the beach in Melbourne and stuff black cat fire crackers into tiny cocktail sausages, light them and throw the deadly meat bombs up to the eager maws of the giant but stupid seagulls.
The gulls would swallow them whole then try to fly awkwardly out to sea, the fuse burning through their digestive tracts.
They laid bets on whose gull would get furthest out before, with a little 'pop' a gull would stone-drop into the sea.
Frank figured no animal deserved how he chose to live. Including steady girls. As long as his well varnished magazines kept him going, he'd focus on his retirement savings,
Mickey suggested they rent some prostitutes again. Nothing like treating a person like a disposable sock puppet as far as Mickey went. humiliating people gave him a stiffy you could hammer nails with. Whenever Frank thought about his own opinion on the subject, he returned to the idea that he and Mickey would likely part ways soon, if this went on.
Only Frank didn't have anyone else he could invite over. It could get lonely in the small quiet hours past Thursday midnight.
Maybe he'd hire someone to clean up this mess, get truly respectable, get a girl even. But that left Mickey's replacement up in the air during the interregnum. There wasn't time now to think anyway, he inspected himself one last time in the hallway mirror, nodded to an empty hall, left for work. clicking the door shut with a flat ugly thud.