Listening for footsteps isn’t enough. He travels quietly, slowly, leaving a whisper of air as he passes. Pausing for a second outside my apartment door, then continuing his journey to the end of the hall. Strategically moving chairs to ends of halls and sitting, staring straight ahead. Waiting. Watching to see who comes out of which door.
What will he do? Is the Supreme Lurker doing this to find me? Or someone who might be weak? Delicate? Unable to defend themselves? Unknowingly allowing the SuLu to find them.
In the wee hours of dusk and dawn, SuLu weaves his way through the halls of the building with his blind dog. The dog’s head never moves from its position. Aimed to sniff out whatever might be directly in front of him, it helps to secure the building for SuLu. Before there is any light to see him. I know this for a fact now. I have a video doorbell. Life feels better. SuLu is being recorded.
The Supreme Lurker. SuLu. And his dog.
Having passed SuLu in the hallways a few times, my mind’s image is that his face is grey. His skin is grey. Eyes blankly stare away from living things. Never smiles. Scowls constantly. Until yesterday. When I took out the garbage.
There he was.
Sitting at the end of the hall in the chair usually occupying the space by the elevator, now placed in front of the south-facing window, was the outline of a man. A grey man. Legs spread wide to show he was in charge.
Stepping into the hall and boldly locking the door behind me, I turned and began walking toward him. Toward the garbage chute by the elevator. This was SuLu. I could feel it. Deciding not to fall into a pit of apprehension, I moved down the hall, garbage in hand, strutting like a tiger. A She-tiger. Not afraid of anything. Ready to pounce in an instant. The dog was nowhere to be found. SuLu was alone. On his hallway elevator-chair-throne.
Closing in on the garbage chute, I looked him straight in the eye. No expression on my face. No fear. No worries. One wrong move and I’ll hit him with my trash. That’s right. All of it. And there it was. He smiled. Said hello.
Very slightly updating my facial expression from tiger to something a little less fierce, I slightly nodded my head. In acknowledgement only. No words.
Returning from the garbage run, I glanced slightly in his direction before entering my apartment. What was he up to? How long had he been sitting there?
Locked the door behind me. Picked up my phone to open the video app. He had been in that chair for about thirty minutes. Interesting.
Ding-ding on my cell. A new video. Opening it I saw SuLu walking by, seemingly returning to his coffer for the evening. His eyes moved slightly in the direction of my door then resumed the dead frontal stare. Was he alone in his world, or was there a legion of SuLus? Would they be carrying SuLu flags? Wearing SuLu hats?
Freaking myself out thinking about SuLu, the elevator-chair-throne, and possible SuLu followers, I decided to buy bells to hang on my door so I can hear it opening, in case his followers knew how to pick locks. Bells should arrive tomorrow. In the meantime, I moved my garbage can in front of the door and placed some old AA batteries on top. If the door moves, batteries will fall onto the floor and make noise. Lots of noise. That should do it. Feeling a little safer now. Safety in batteries.
The ants are back. They’ve been so bad this year and are driving me crazy. Searching the internet for ant species in my area, I see there are a gazillion of them. And most of them are right here in my home. As I scan the list of ants, there is one that stands out in a slightly darker, slightly larger font.
I’m being surrounded by SuLus.