There was a knock on the door this morning, and I knew instantly who it was, for bits of plaster fell from the ceiling, jarred loose by momentum. Only one person could move heaven and earth in such a way, shoddy as the condition of the third-rate apartment building was. I thought with great chagrin that nobody else paraded the hallway to my door with such fierceness. Elephants outside might have had more grace.
I did not open the door because the thought of seeing so much flabby flesh might put me off my instant oatmeal. I knew what she wanted. And I would not give it to her.
Finally I perceived the same stomping noises. The plaster shifted from the ceiling again, and I knew I had to repaint. Always the plaster. Whenever she draws near, I have to get the ceiling fixed. People might come to my door hundreds of times and never damage the ceiling, even upstairs. God could imagine what might happen if she paid my neighbor a visit above me. Finally, when I knew she was gone I peered outside. A note on the door confirmed my suspicions.
“Your rent is overdue, buster. Pay up. –Maggie”