I’ve been making decisions since I woke up this morning but it’s not a problem. Nothing I decide will make a difference to anyone. When I say anyone I mean my family and friends, if I still have any. The last time I tried to think of someone who might still be a friend I couldn’t think of who that could be. I don’t talk to anyone in my family anymore, either, and that includes both my mother and brother. I also mean my neighbors and the people in town when I say that it won’t make a difference to anyone. I don’t know any of my neighbors by name, but I know that the decisions I make won’t affect them, either. The biggest decision I’ve made is that I’m moving, but I don’t know where yet. I don’t have a car anymore so wherever I move to I have to get there by train or by bus. I won’t make that decision until it comes time to do so. I imagine it will depend on where I’m going and if it’s a train or bus that goes there. I can’t say that I prefer one method of transportation to the other. It’s all the same since I don’t have a car anymore. My brother is the one who stole my car which is why I stopped talking to him. I won’t talk about why I don’t talk to my mother anymore, though. There are some things that you shouldn’t talk about out loud and everyone knows this, although I’m not sure my mother does. She also doesn’t know the first thing I decided this morning was if I wanted to get out of bed and the answer was no. So I went back to sleep for another hour or two but woke up when I heard the doorbell ring. I decided I didn’t want to answer the doorbell so I decided to let it keep ringing. The person who was ringing the doorbell kept ringing it for a minute or so. I’m sure it wasn’t my mother or brother because neither of them knows where I live. I’m not sure anyone knows where I live except for my landlord who won’t be my landlord come tomorrow morning. I decided tomorrow is when I’m going to move somewhere else. I stopped paying rent six months ago and have been getting letters shoved under my door ever since. They say I have to pay rent, that I have to pay late fees for missing last month’s payment and the month before that. I haven’t answered the letters because why would I. Starting tomorrow I’m on the road bound for anywhere else and so I no longer feel any obligations. Maybe it was him, the landlord, ringing the doorbell this morning. When I say ringing the doorbell I mean knocking on the door. I don’t have a doorbell here and never have. I don’t know why I said I did other than I like the sound of it better. Ringing a doorbell sounds better than knocking on a door. It’s more civilized. I was thinking about this when I decided to let the person at the door keep knocking on it. I thought this would be better if it were a doorbell. I wondered what it would take to get a doorbell installed but I knew my landlord would never go for it. The landlord here is a criminal which is why I stopped paying rent six months ago. The last straw was when my mother got bit by a rat while she was trying to fix a leaking pipe under the kitchen sink. Everyone knows it’s the super’s job to do things like this but we haven’t had a super since the last one quit two years ago. The last super was from Europe and the one before that was from South America and they were both worthless. I’m not saying that everyone from Europe and South America is worthless but if you said it I wouldn’t argue. I’d mentioned this to my mother who said she could come over to fix the leak. I told her I didn’t think it was a good idea but she didn’t care what I thought. This is when she got bit by the rat and we had to call an exterminator who charged four hundred dollars to come over right away. I told them that there was a rat and we’d trapped it in the bathroom. My mother was the one who actually trapped the rat in the bathroom. I was in the living room watching television at the time. I remember I heard her scream and ran into the kitchen which is when she told me about the rat. She told me other things, too, but that’s between me and her. I decided to take my mother outside on the stoop to calm her down. This is when I walked across the street to the bodega for a big can of beer. My mother has always liked to drink big cans of beer and so I thought this would be a good time for one. I brought it back to her wrapped inside a brown paper bag and told her to drink it. I told her let’s not make a big deal out of this, but I won’t repeat what she said to that. When I say the rat bit her I’m saying that only for the landlord’s benefit. The truth is the rat didn’t bite my mother, but it did brush past her and this is the kind of thing that can shock someone into an early grave, particularly if they are old and enfeebled like my mother. I was worried for her health, but she started to feel better after a few slugs of beer. I decided right then and there I wouldn’t pay rent ever again and that it would serve the landlord right. I knew I couldn’t go back to sleep at this point so this is when I decided I was up for good. I decided to get out of bed and go into the bathroom. I did what I do every morning in the bathroom but decided I wasn’t going to shower because I’d showered last night. I don’t always shower at night but sometimes I have to because I get home late and it is hot out and I sweat through my clothes. I almost always sweat through my clothes when it’s hot out and this is why I decide to stay inside for most of the summer if I can help it. I don’t like the feeling of sweating through my clothes and I don’t think anyone else does, either. My mother and brother used to make fun of me for sweating through my clothes, but that’s not one of the reasons I don’t talk to them anymore. I probably won’t talk to either one of them ever again and it serves everybody right. I do know that I want to move someplace where I won’t have to sweat as much. I think that might be the most important factor when I decide where I’ll move to and how I might get there.
Robert Lopez is the author of four books, including, Good People, to be published by Bellevue Literary Press in January, 2016.