Rent day at the building office. Always first in line, Svetlana is shunned by the other Russians. They say she was a guard in a labor camp and blackmailed her way to this high rise apartment in Providence. She dries her clothes on the bushes outdoors and tears the screens out of her windows, so she can gaze into the abyss from seven stories up.
Next in line is Mama Esperanza with her niece, who is watching her today. So far from home and now lost in dementia. Forgetfulness is a blessing.
Standing at attention, Frank is a study in dissonance. Camouflage cargo pants, a plaid shirt and checked jacket. His expressionless face looks like it was made for a grey flannel suit. He walks with a cane and doesn’t talk much.
Vivian opens the office door and collects the checks and cash.
She is Dominicana and regular Rhode Island, energetic and very pretty. She is kind and hard-working. Going places.
Milo Stranger comes off the elevator just as the line ends, with the air of a casual tourist steps on over to the building office. Passes by Frank.
“H’lo Corporal,” he says, touching his forehead in a quick salute. Frank’s smile is brighter than a thousand suns.
Even the immortals can suffer and fear– Milo Stranger Part 1–Appointment at the Clinic