The Apartment Superintendent
by Eric Suhem



Zoltan climbed up the rocky mountainside, the hot sun blaring down, his body getting thinner and his beard longer, sweat pouring down his face. He was about to collapse when he staggered one more step and realized he had made it, he was at the top!  Zoltan crawled onto the plateau and saw a rock with an ancient question mark scrawled on it. He turned over the rock. Scratched on it were the words ‘Go to the apartment building at 23 Sunshine Ave’.


Frank was the superintendent at 23 Sunshine Ave. It was a cosmic address and the neighbors in the apartment building communicated with each other via telepathic means. This presented various practical infrastructure issues for Frank, though a benefit was that the tenants could let each other into the building without having to use a buzzer speaker system. One less thing for Frank to worry about.

When Zoltan arrived at the front door, Frank was scraping some peeling paint off of the side of the building while listening to instructions from the property manager, who often annoyed him with her constant facial tics and the subtle pressures she exerted, the content of which Frank could not quite pinpoint. Upon seeing Zoltan, the property manager said, “Sir, if you are applying for an apartment, we need you to fill out an application with three references from your current place of employment, along with a credit report.” Adorned in rags, Zoltan peered at her through bleary red eyes. “Frank, I have to go visit another property,” said the manager.

After she left, Frank led Zoltan into the building. “Don’t worry about her,” said Frank, handing Zoltan a key. “Apartment 7B is available, and the spirits are awaiting you.”


Omar walked to the high stone walls at the gate in the clouds. A bird fluttered down, and landed on Omar’s head, hopping up and down with its little feet. The bird was using its tiny claws to imprint a message on Omar’s cerebral cortex. On a nearby cloud, Talia was lying down, a snake wrapped around her, its message seeping into her pores. For both Omar and Talia, the message was, ‘I am sending you down to earth, soul, with a unique aura and mission, for I am your spirit guide. Now go the apartment building at 23 Sunshine Ave.’.


When Omar and Talia arrived at the apartment building, Frank was on the phone with the property manager. “I want you to make sure that prospective tenants pay their cleaning deposit with a cashier’s check or money order, not with karma,” said the property manager. As she rambled on, Frank became aware of a message being transmitted into his consciousness from one of the tenants. The message was that the building’s roof was leaking. Frank was excited to receive this telepathic message, his first, as until now he had not been able to participate with the tenants in their unseen communication. Frank hung up the phone and got his tool belt. After assigning Omar and Talia to Apartment 7B, Frank walked toward the elevator.

The elevator operator of the building was of indeterminate age, having been there throughout eternity. Frank was taken up to the roof, where he got out of the elevator. While starting to repair a hole on the edge of the roof, Frank slipped and fell off the building, into the clouds.



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