There was an enormous amount of furniture crammed into the center city penthouse apartment, almost all of it chairs and small tables. The living room could have subbed as an intimate mid-rent nightclub if there had only been an easier path to the john, and if the world was full of people without any discernable taste.

    The world, in fact, was filled with such people, but it was much less filled than in ages past. The good thing was that you could find a nice apartment now, and not worry a whit about the rent.

    Pepsi chose to sit at a round aqua-toned dinette (VicoClear – it could have been a collectible), poised cautiously on the least damaged of three matching chairs. It was quite comfortable on the spine if you sat without squirming, and it afforded a clear view of the magnificent Winslow building across the street.

    The Winslow! Building of lights! They had their own generator, and you could see the people scurrying to and fro on the inside. So busy all the time. They had energy to spare.

    There was an enormous amount of dust on the enormous amount of furniture crammed into the center city penthouse apartment, almost all of it ashen gray and feathery. Pepsi was afflicted with no allergies. Pepsi was remarkably healthy.

    Pepsi thought about television – not the appliance, but the experience. She had the appliance, six of them as a matter of fact. They might work if she had energy. They looked to be in pretty good shape. Why couldn’t she find one that worked on batteries? She had many boxes of batteries, a closet full. They were part of her inheritance.

    If she had been able to turn a set on, she would have tried to find a game show, if there was a game show to be found. What fun those used to be. Playing games and winning prizes. Often, even the losers would win something, so they weren’t really losers, were they? At least they got to play. Pepsi went to the guest room and pulled a box containing forty boxes of one gross containers of silver ‘Perma Fine’ nail files from underneath the queen teak bed. Only one container had been opened. She filed her nails while watching the Winslow building.

    Only the left index tonight. Someday other people would want these files of hers. It was only a matter of time.

    She had always sensed that one day her nails would grow back.

©2003, M Hoback