by Mike Meraz
she was a strange girl
who lived in my building
when I lived in Whittier.
she was mentally challenged
or something like that.
I think she had the hots for me
(I always attract the peculiar ones)
because one night
about eleven-thirty pm
she came to my door.
"yeah, who is it?" I asked.
"do you have a screw driver I can borrow?"
"who is this?" I asked.
"um, it's Martha, I live a couple doors down the hall."
"no, I don't have a screw driver you can borrow."
"can I come in anyway?"
"I want to talk to you."
"no, I'm going to bed now."
then she walked away.
a couple of days later
I saw her in the hall.
I tried to avoid her
but she abruptly came up to me anyway.
"can you take me to Pomona?"
"no, I don't know where Pomona is."
"oh, it's right up the 605 then down the 60.
it's not that far. I'll give you directions."
"no, I'm sorry, I can't take you to Pomona.
maybe you could ask someone else."
"but I've already asked everyone else, no one will take me."
"I'm sorry, I can't."
then she put her head down
and walked away.
a couple of weeks past.
I didn't see her for a while.
she must have made it to Pomona.
then one night I was coming home late
about two-thirty am.
I opened the front door of my building
and there she was lying on the floor,
in the dark, next to the stairwell,
moaning and groaning-
"ooo, ahhh, ohhh, mmm."
I closed the door quietly
and walked slowly up the stairs.
"hey," she whispered, "hey."
I walked faster up the stairs to my room.
"hey!" she shouted, "come back here!"
I closed the door to my room.
a couple of minutes later I heard a knock.
"what?!" I exclaimed.
"um, it's Martha, I just wanted to know if I could talk to you."
"no, it's late, I have to go to bed."
"just for a sec?"
"I have something I want to give you."
"what is it?" I asked.
"I want to give you my body."
"look, please leave me alone."
I heard a heavy sigh
and then I heard her walk away.
I never saw her again after that.
I think I pushed her off for good.
she must have been lonely,
but we all have our dark days
and I don't think we should bother others
with our loneliness.
the last thing I heard she was kicked out.
she bothered the other tenants too.
I was not the only one.
but I don't remember any of them.
I guess she got my attention after all.