So it remains in Jenny’s best interest that Tony and Jan exist in a drug induced timeless waiting. They scrape by in their two-bedroom apartment with the paper thin walls, where night after night the ear-splitting arguments between the couple next door bring out the cops. The dueling couple is well-known in their apartment community for their big mouths and angry hysterics, a plethora of four-letter words flung like torpedoes at one another and anyone else who might attempt to get in the way. His relentless unemployment, her diabetes, you’d never know they’d just had a baby. Eventually the screaming jolts the new born out of a tender sleep. Wanting attention, he joins in the yelping; they all transform into a chorus of hyenas, and within moments, their song is accompanied by police sirens and flashing lights.
The neighbors watch the drama from behind drawn curtains, the shuffling traffic from the superintendent’s apartment acting as background. In and out they walk. You’d have to be a half wit not to know what was going on. The workers pour off the volleyball court every night, walk disdainfully, contemptuously through unknown back yards, trampling flowers and plants, flattening deer fencing, their boots leaving a path of crushed living things in their wake. Joking and laughing, they head for the superintendent’s apartment. He has been the superintendent of this low-income apartment complex for fifteen years and still does not speak English. Despite the fact that the housing is rotting with mold, the tenants rarely see him work. In season, he’s too busy going out on his boat. When he’s actually in residence and not on the phone with his son in Mexico, one of his favorite past times is using his passkey to enter the single women’s apartments while the unsuspecting women are in the shower. He appears suddenly in the bathroom like Superman, under the guise of repairing faulty plumbing in all his tool box carrying magnificence, smiling and helpful at last.
The super likes to keep his apartment door open in summer. He also likes to leer at the young daughters of these single moms. Jan noticed him licking his lips at the sight of Lakota and yelled at him to keep his eyes turned elsewhere or she’ll kill him with her bare hands. He laughed and slammed the door in her face. The last tenant to be caught in her own shower with the super’s pants down took a year to tell the manager that they were all living with a pervert. But once she began, she was persistent. Eventually, she was asked to appear before the Board to tell her story, where she stood alone in front of the mostly male board, because the other women including Jan, were afraid to come forward. She could tell from the vibe in the room that everyone could have cared less. The air was permeated with their nonchalance. As she told her story, the men looked at her as if to say, you are a flea on the ass of life. The charade finally ended, and nothing happened. The men smirked and headed for their BMW’s saying, “Boys will be boys.”
Since the Board decreed that the super was not responsible for his actions, he felt compelled to celebrate. That night at three o’clock in the morning, after drinking way too much tequila, he decided to snort some coke to wake-up. The coke made him horny. So while chuckling quietly to himself he let himself into Tony and Jan’s apartment. He knows that Jan sleeps alone downstairs in the medical bed, so he climbed into bed with her. She awoke to a man’s hands fondling her genitals. Groggy with sleep, by the time she realized it wasn’t her husband and started to scream, it was too late. Tony came running from the upstairs bedroom, just in time to see the super take-off, but not before he copped one last feel of those enormous breasts.
Tony’s many illnesses made him feel nauseous and groggy. He wasn’t strong enough to run. He sat down on the bed and cradled Jan in his arms while she cried. They sat that way until daybreak, surrounded by ashtrays filled to the brim with cigarettes smoked down to the filter, dirty clothes scattered on the floor, and food encrusted plates and glasses filling up the sink. Flies were everywhere. Even the dogs and cat smelled of smoke. The next day, Tony and Jan reported the incident to the police, and were told that was too late to do anything about it. It would seem, it was a case of like daughter, like mother.