The Duplex Issue no. 233 Summer 2020 I moved to Los Angeles to sing. When was this? August? June? I was twenty-nine, and those were shapeless months, when the days blended together and I refused to pull them apart. My landlord was unusually close to her adult son. His name was Jeffrey, and my landlord said he was around my age. I’d never met him even though his apartment was apparently only twelve minutes away. I lived on the bottom floor of her dilapidated duplex; she lived upstairs. Every night I’d fall asleep to the sound of her feet shuffling across the thin wood floor above me. I slept with my bedroom windows open, hoping for a breeze to carry in the burned-air smell of the city. Instead, my landlord would wake me up in the morning by pulling aside my curtain and thrusting her hand inside my room, offering me a gift—a spare tomato or a pamphlet about the Hare Krishnas.