This story takes place awhile after any previous story with Zachary in it. Later stories will fill in the gaps and talk about the apartment I rented for him
Early 1980’s, Miami Shores Florida
The day I found out that I was allergic to Bain de Soleil’s great smelling orange sun tan oil, Shelby and I had smoked a joint each while drinking Diet Cokes, on her massive terrace that overlooked at least five inlets to and Biscayne Bay itself.
The two bedroom two bath full dressing room, L shaped living room, kitchen with dishwasher and washer dryer, condo was less than two thirds the price of a one bedroom coop in New York without amenities. Not that I was in the market as interest rates were in the high double digits ,and I was trying to get rid of Zachary. Had I wanted him to remain, no coop board would approve us. He didn’t have a bank account; I’m not even sure that he had a Social Security card.
I had spent the previous few months going from friend to friend’s apartments, the further away from Manhattan the better. I had even spent a month in a basement apartment in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I could walk from there through Manhattan Beach all the way up to Coney Island, but Coney Island wasn’t a place a very white girl would or could venture into alone. I know; I did. Fortunately I had a great street look; I could make myself look ugly and undesirable with just a change of a facial expression.
Jasmin had been in Geneva for years and Lucia was in Puerto Rico, madly in lust, and I didn’t want to interrupt. Just six months before Zachary and I were going at constantly. Though we could no longer stand each other; the sex was raw and animal like. I knew that I wasn’t in love; I hated how clingy Zachary was, and yet the sex went on, and on. Didn’t like thinking about it afterwards as I felt like a hooker who was giving away the goods.
But he had broken one of my French windows with its irreplaceable multi wrought iron pane, lead glass, and on old table from my parents garage that had been overflowing with large healthy plants. I helped him get an apartment but I never let him back into mine again. Nor would I ever have sex, or a real conversation with him again. Actually we hadn’t had a real conversation in awhile.
He would ring my doorbell, or call my phone, or both, all night, and the police in the Nineteenth Precinct wouldn’t do anything because he had been living with me, and nobody else complained.
I worked downtown on Pine Street then, and Zachary would be at my subway stop on 60th and Fifth in the morning, and a block or two away from my office in the evening. He never overtly threatened me; he would just try to put his arm around me and talk.
“Hey pum’kin, when are you going to let me in? I miss you.”
“Don’t you understand Zachary? You miss the idea of me. We’re finished. Over. Nothing anymore. We’re nothing together.”
Following me from 5:30 PM to 8AM the following morning seemed to be his primary avocation. Three days a week he wasn’t around at lunch time; but I never knew which two days he would be there.
Each month he had another brilliant fail safe get rich scheme; the last time I was in The Grassroots on St Marks, his anti-Reagan oil embargo bumper sticker was still up. That was a long time ago; sure it’s been gone for years.
I took a leave from my job and began my nomadic life. Staying at Shelby’s seemed to be the most prudent solution as Zachary didn’t know her boyfriend’s last name, probably forgot Shelby’s name though he thought her incredibly beautiful, and could never afford to come to Miami. His van, which my landlord had asked him not to park in front of the building couldn’t make it all the way down.
So I was on Shelby’s terrace where we smoked, and ragged on the men in our lives, until we dropped into deep naps. When I woke up my chest was covered with blisters; and I cursed. Somehow I knew that it wasn’t sun poisoning.
I hated the man I thought that I was going to grow old with, and was allergic to the only suntan oil I could stand. That week being allergic to Bain de Soleil seemed the worse evil. Yes, damn it; it was Zachary’s fault.