David received a call for substitute work at a local elementary school, so he quickly got up and hopped into the shower. David usually showered after work, but since he hadn’t showered in nearly a week, he decided he should do himself and others a favor by giving himself a good rinse.
To his shock, the water was freezing cold and the water heater was clearly not working. David jumped out completely naked and screamed, “What is this?! A third world country?!” He shivered as he dried off, then decided to call up work to tell them he wasn’t coming in.
“There’s been a terrible emergency. I just can’t come in today.” He hung up the phone, then quickly dialed the repairman, Pablo. “You need to get over here now!” He argued awhile, then said, “Okay, that’s fine. I’ll be expecting you in an hour.”
David reluctantly put on some clothes, then waited until Pablo arrived an hour later.
“You water heater not work?” asked Pablo.
“Good heavens, Pablo. Speak English!” David wasn't the most sensitive of sorts.
“I try to learn,” he said meekly.
“Well, try harder!”
Pablo went and tinkered with the water heater while David watched over his shoulder, completely invading Pablo’s personal space.
After a minute or two, David asked, “Well, can you fix it?”
Pablo stood up and announced, “We need buy new one. This one old and not work no more.”
David was irate. “What am I supposed to do until then? Die in my own stink?”
“Warm water on stove. I do that in Guatemala.”
“This isn’t Guate-whatever you said. This is Portland, Oregon!”
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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