Adrian Gonzalez opened the screen door of his trailer home – he never locked it because why lock it? – and stepped inside. The hinges squealed as he eased his body, tired after the 10-inning loss, onto the tattered plaid couch he’d acquired in an even trade with his neighbor Ronnie Slocum, who lived in the robin-egg blue doublewide parked beside the netless basketball hoop at the far southern end of The Whispering Wind Trailer Court.
Ronnie Slocum’s roosters had never bothered Adrian Gonzalez. Why would they?
Adrian Gonzalez reached for a half-empty can of Bud and took a sip. The beer was flat, and a little warm, like the long Bellflower night. He leaned back and stared at the stain on the gypsumboard ceiling. He tried to remember when the stain began forming. Was it during that storm last May? The storm last April? Maybe it was there when he moved in.
A breeze drifted through the rusted screen door and sent an old In-N-Out wrapper across the shag carpet, the crusted cheese snagging on the fabric. He kept staring at the ceiling stain, round at the edges. It reminded him of the basketball hoop. Come to think of it, there was no longer a hoop, only a backboard. He closed his eyes, rested. Yes, there was only a backboard now, rusted and set atop a bent gray pole at the edge of a concrete slab at the far southern end of The Whispering Wind Trailer Court. Two of Ronnie Slocum’s kids, Ronnie Jr. and Lonnie T., had painted some large penises on the chipped concrete.
He opened his eyes. They could have been closed.