Kadin's efforts to get his new neighbor to discontinue cooking chitterlings, to date, has been futile. His call to the management office was met with placated sympathy but no real action. Basically, he was advised that Lita's choice to cook a dish that emits an odor offensive to him falls in the realm of cultural preference. That fact plus her time as a resident gave her standing in their view. Although he did not get his way, they did promise to speak with her.
Curiously, his girlfriend and neighbor have been developing a close friendship. She even began to accompany Lita on her Saturday romps to the Bodega. Lita gave her the history of the neighborhood while Dodie began to confess her soul. She found Lita to be a non-judgmental ear, sounding board.
As they got to know each other, Lita would preface their conversation with, "Are you venting or asking for advice?"
Dodie found this refreshing and began to count on the discretion provided by her new friend. The age difference became little more than a footnote. It was Lita's eccentric behavior that took getting used to. Lita's proclivity to go bra-less and her various T-shirts with clever but sometimes embarrassing quotes gave her some pause.
As she had done for weeks, Dodie would wake Saturday mornings, make breakfast, and head down to Lita's unit. On this particular Saturday, she arrived an hour or so early. Lita lets her in and she sits on the sofa as they make small talk. Dodie hears the shower in the background.
"You were taking a shower? Go ahead."
Her time with Dodie has taught her to stop needlessly apologizing. After her comment and before a response from her friend, the noise from the shower ends.
"Yes, but you are okay."
Dodie's imagination runs off the cliff. So far, her friend has not divulged much about her personal life. Dodie created this elaborate fantasy in her mind. Maybe she was in a relationship with the upstairs tenant or maybe she had a lesbian lover. At this point, it did not matter. She just did not want to be kicked out before she learned who was in the shower.
As they talked, Lita was as calm and collected as she normally was. Dodie started to think it may just be a repairman given her cavalier attitude. As she relaxed into the moment, the bedroom door opened and a man much younger that Lita emerged. He was tall, well built, and appeared to be in his mid-thirties. His curly black hair was freshly washed and blended well with his olive skin. Dodie could not peel her eyes away from him.
"You have company. I will be out of your way," he says.
"Bobby, this is my neighbor, Dodie."
As he smiles, he offers his hand, "Please to meet you Dodie."
"Ugh, ---it's ---my ---pleasure," sounding as if it was a question.
He continues, "Have seen my shoes?"
"Me?" Dodie asks shyly.
"I put them on the other side of the sofa this morning," Lita points in the direction of his cross-trainers.
He grabs his sneakers, but rather than taking the time to put them on while in the house, he hastily makes his way the front door.
"Call you later," he offers without what it seems an expectation of a response.
In unison, they both respond, "Bye."
Dodie laughs and takes a deep sigh. As the door closes, she blurts, "Who the fuck is Bobby? I am so sorry. I mean is that your son, nephew, or something."
"... or something."
"I need more. Please"
"I met him in the Bodega. We became friends and over time he started to provide some company."
"That's what you call it. Oh, shit girl. I --I --I am not sure what to say. I guess that bodega has everything. This is awkward. "
"Because you think we are sleeping together?"
With an elevated tone and making air quotes, Dodie says, "Freaking --exactly! You said you were a virgin.".
"I never said I was or was not, but Bobby and I have not engaged in intercourse. That would be uncomfortable for both of us."
"What the hell," Dodie whispers.
"Listen, I have been in control of my orgasms for over forty years. I just like him next to me. It's nice."
Coughing, "I bet! I am not making any judgments. --I am quite happy for you. I was just not ready for that experience. Oh my God."
Dodie chuckles, "That's what I said last night."