I pushed the door open a little. Being cautious.
“Anybody home?” I asked, not expecting a reply.
I got a whiff of coffee and stale cigarette smoke.
“We’re over here,” said a voice.
My apartment was a small one-bedroomed unit, and as I entered I saw two men sitting at the end of the cheap wooden table that came with the place. I owned no furniture. One of the men was Goldstein. My landlord. He was a short, bald, rosy, round faced man. He wore round gold-rimmed spectacles.
Goldstein held my prized NY Yankees coffee mug in one hand, taking slurping sips at regular intervals. In front of him was a writing pad with a cheap ballpoint pen on top.
The other man looked like your typical oversized Italian American mobster thug. He was wearing a tight white t-shirt that had I LOVE NY written on it in black letters with a big red apple underneath. I had a feeling that today was a day that I would love New York as well. The big guy was eating one of my prized red Fuji apples, taking big bites and chewing noisily. I knew it was one of my Fuji apples because I selected them so carefully. I loved NY and I loved red apples. When I bought them I examined each one with utmost care to make sure it had the right texture, firmness and color. There was no way this monstrosity had bought his own Fuji apple with him to my apartment. He was the type of guy who walked past an apple stand in a market and took one without paying.
Goldstein took another sip of his coffee. His spectacles steamed up and then cleared again as he lowered the cup.
He looked up with a well-rehearsed smile. “Good day Mr. Wilkinson. Please have a seat.”
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