David Emami never knew what to expect when he answered the call as a substitute janitor. On a cold December day, he had accepted a job to work the evening shift at a local elementary school since he had a doctor's appointment earlier in the day to check out his grotesque ingrown toenail.
David didn’t really care if he worked days or nights because each shift had its benefits. However, he would easily admit that working nights allowed him to work without any interaction at all, so that made it just a little nicer.
The halls were decorated for the upcoming winter break, and David couldn't help but stop and look at what they had done.
“Just dreadful. So tacky,” he said. “No rhyme or reason to any of it. It’s like they don’t have a sense of style or anything.” David was repulsed by their elementary efforts and walked away angrily.
When David made his way into the janitor’s closet, the door closed behind him. It was an old building, and the person that needed a substitute failed to mention that it locked from the outside.
David arranged all of his cleaning supplies, then tried to open the door. It wouldn't budge. He shook it and pulled on the handle, but nothing would give. David panicked a bit and imagined himself being found as a fully decomposed skeleton years later clinging to the mop handle. The thought terrified him.
David sat down in a fetal position on the floor and just about cried when he realized that he had also left his phone in his car. He then looked up and saw a vent.
“I bet I can fit in there,” he said quietly.
He used a screwdriver and popped the vent off. He threw his arms inside and determined that his skinny frame could indeed get inside, so that’s exactly what he did. Rather painfully, he pulled himself down the corridor and at last emerged in the hallway. He popped that vent off, then attempted to let himself down gently, but instead fell down, hitting his shoulders very hard against the ground.
“Well this tacky hell hole can clean itself!” said David as he kicked the locked closet. He walked back to his car, got inside, and left. He told himself he would never take a job at that school again.
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
© 2017 DavidEmami.com