Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Master (S.O.)B.

Mr. B. was an arrogant s.o.b. He had such an imperious attitude that I nicknamed him “Master”, and pointedly  kept our conversations short.  He felt he was everyone’s intellectual superior, and would often try to bait me:  "Are you a college graduate?"  "Do you read the New York Times?"  Meanwhile, he was living alone and miserable, in a dirty, unkempt apartment, without any visitors. Oh, yeah, in one of my apartments, the one who didn't do the NY Times crossword in ink.

But one person appreciated Mr. B.  The Widow K. lived above him.  She was a retired factory worker, and now lived in an immaculate apartment.  She found opportunities to chat with him, and her face lit up when she spoke about him.  It reminded me of high school girls dreamily writing “Mrs. Thomas B”, or “Katherine B” on their notebooks, surrounded by little hearts. Watching her fluttering around him would really tick me off, because I knew what Mr. B. thought about her. About everybody, actually:  In his opinion, none of us, even Mrs. K., were his equal.  My opinion was that Mrs. K. was his superior, and he was a jerk.

One day, Mrs. K. came to my office.  "I'm really worried about Tom."  (She affectionately called him "Tom". Yuck.) His newspaper and milk have been outside his door since yesterday."  Never a good sign.

It was a late winter afternoon, and as I approached their building, I looked in Mr. B’s windows. His lights were off.  They should’ve been on by then. As I entered, a few of the other elderly tenants peeked out their doors.  I tried to be discreet, as I didn't want them upset at what I expected to find.

I used my passkey.  Light from the hall illuminated his living room.  I could see his outline in the dark apartment, sitting in his chair, immobile, with his pants around his ankles.  He was apparently enjoying a private moment at the time of his demise. 

Because I had to call the police, Master B's final indignity was undoubtedly shared by many around the police department's water cooler.  I’ll say no more.  But you know, his last name should've been "Bates".  ;D  

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