The first was an elderly lady. She had hair the color and texture of cotton candy. Dennis swore if he looked closely, he could see the tiny crystallized sugars among the tightly coiled curls. Her cane was older than she was, the rubber stopper cracked and peeling off. The exposed unfinished wood leaving scuff marks on the floor. She hated the building noise and would spend every night pounding the cane on the walls, floors, and ceiling. Her family came one day and whisked her away. He was glad she hadn’t died here. He wasn’t ready for a permanent roommate.
The second was a bachelor who would throw his potato chip bags and beer cans on the floor instead of the trashcan. Cordy had never been neat but she never lived in the filth this guy liked to wallow in. Dennis knew the puke stain that the guy had tried to cover up with a giant Budwieser throw was never going to come out. The smell of marijuana was stuck to the curtains, invading every fiber. He’d blast synthetic music with guys yelling about women in a sexual and violent manner. Dennis danced the day the landlord evicted the pig.
Dennis could have grown to love the newlywed couple. They had stars in their eyes and dreams of fame and fortune. The wife reminded him so much of Cordy. She would go to auditions, come home exhausted and beat down by the rejections. Her husband was oblivious, hunched over his laptop, furiously typing “The Script That Was Going To Make Him Famous”. It wasn’t his fault really, when Dennis picked up the loofah out of habit while she was in the bath. He’d never get the screams out of his head and that was the last he saw of them.
When LA went to Hell, Dennis found himself with a glut of roommates. The vacant apartment was broken into and slowly people found their way here, one by one, looking beat up and worn down. Now he had a suffering crowd crammed into every available square inch of the apartment. They huddled against each other for comfort, scared and confused about what was happening to them. No one took notice of him. He had no ideas, no way to offer them anything but shelter against the tempest outside. Their numbers dwindled until there was no one left to come home.
If asked, he wouldn’t have been able to tell how much time had passed. The damaged done by the cowering crowd after Hell-LA was never fixed by the landlord. Dennis couldn’t be sure there was even a landlord anymore. He spent most days in the dark, listening to the sounds of the outside world. There was no television to watch, no music to listen to, no one to look after. He had entertained the idea that if Cordelia had died during the apocalypse, she would have come for him, taken him to a new apartment in Heaven.
She never came.