Dead Guy in the Basement
Mom willed the house to me. Unexpected.
Ours was a strained relationship. I’d runaway twice before I could legally drive.
My biological Dad was absent more days than Santa Claus and seldom discussed. My few male role models were the dudes Mom dated. Those relationships were short term at best.
Whatever family values I learned came from basic cable TV.
The dead guy, Harold, knew Mom. He never goes into detail.
Judging by the dent in his skull, I figure Harold wronged someone. Mom had a temper. One that I inherited.
How he came to be in the basement, Harold hesitates to discuss.
“Things happen,” he shrugs what is left of his decaying shoulders.
He tell me things – scratch-off lottery numbers, never a big pay-off, but enough to pay the utilities, days to stay home to avoid a traffic accident or being fired from work, dudes not to date again.
On that, he’s been spot on. Imagine that, dating advice from a corpse.
Sometimes I read to Harold. He likes those old detective magazines – stories with titles like “He Strangled Woman with their Panties” or “Nude Model was Too Sexy to Live.”
He likes story time. Me, not as much. I like that Harold enjoys my readings but can’t shake the feeling that maybe Harold’s skull could use another dent.
But then I think about the bills to pay.