The leaves had fallen and David Emami was nervous. He waited day after day for the maintenance man from the apartment complex to rake them up and take them away, but they just kept piling up as if they weren’t a problem.
It was a typical rainy fall day in Portland, Oregon, and yet David could think of nothing other than cleaning. His home was always spotless, so it almost made him sick to look outside and see such a mess.
He decided that, instead of waiting for Pablo, the maintenance man, he would do the raking on his own. He put on his baggy jeans, slipped into a tight sweater that nearly exposed his naval, and of course, he put on his massive black rain boots.
Before he went outside, he grabbed his absurdly large trench coat, almost making himself disappear in the process. Though he was skinny and lanky, David for some reason liked his clothes to either be too big, or in some cases, far too small for him.
David began attacking the piles and piles of leaves. Though, for a person with obsessive compulsive disorder, this was quite the task. He couldn’t just rake the leaves and be done with the job; he had to remove all the leaves, leaving no trace of them behind. It was the same reason he liked being a substitute janitor: cleanliness was next to godliness.
David raked and raked while people walked around him. Some of his neighbors even tried talking to him, but David drowned them out. There was no room for conversation when such a serious task was at hand.
He created multiple, perfectly formed piles, then on his hands and knees, pealed the individual leaves off of the slimy, wet sidewalks. After nearly 3 hours of work, David was at last done. The leaves had been placed in large, black plastic bags and thrown away.
David went inside, proud of his hard work for the day, and watched from his window as people walked over the newly discovered sidewalk.
Pablo, with the chainsaw still going, didn’t know what David was saying, and didn’t speak English anyway, so he just waved and smiled.
David ran inside and drowned his sorrows in a bowl of butter pecan ice cream.
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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