White Walls

 by C. Carson Parks 

When I lived in L.A., the thing that probably save my life from the I.R.S. was that every time I had a few extra bucks in the bank, I’d make a down payment on some rental property, and picked up some depreciation and write-offs, to shelter my ordinary income. I always painted them a pristine white, so that the accent colors could be bright and cheerful and set off the furniture and pillows. So, I had white drop clothes, and would get busy with the roller and white paint. After a while, I’d start to get a headache and start to go a little nuts. So, I’d get out an ice tray and the gin and fix a relaxing martini. The apartments were clean, appliances cleaned, but it sometimes seem like a gloomy place, with no visible evidence of signs of life. Then I could envision of a young couple living there, with their future planned out in front of them. One evening, the husband comes home, calls “Honey, I’m home!” and the place is totally deserted, even to the coat hangers that held his shirts in the closet. We don’t now how the rest of the story unfolds, but it's not important. What IS important is his reaction, and emotional devastation. Pretty morbid.

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