“God, I don’t know how he look themselves in the mirror, you know?” Janet stares blankly out at the bustling street ahead. She looks like she needs a cigarette. “I think it hurts more that he played with my dreams.” Janet is in her late 20s, stained blue jeans, striped shirt peaking out of a black fitted hoodie. “This crazy city…” It’s almost inaudible. She was this close to getting scammed by a Craigslist ad: “$1000, 3 bedroom apartment in the heart of Chelsea. A rare find.” Can’t beat that. She smiles an offbeat smile looking back at me for some kind of reinforcement. I try to offer it. Truth is, there’s a piece of her heart that’s broken; like a break up, or a professional player too close for comfort.
Lately, Janet runs from job interview to job interview. Panic drives her need for whatever income she can get now, as savings are running low and fear, rampid. She just moved back here. “He seemed the real deal, you know?” She shakes her head. Back and forth between emails with Tim Gillespi, “Vice President for ATB Financial in Calgary.” Apparently. From the looks of things, even I would have pegged him as legit. I think.
Big sigh. Janet stands, stretches and prepares to go back into the cold evening. Into her bag, she stuffs a magazine, sections of the New York Times, and loose lists and notes with names and numbers scribbled like messy hair. She looks back at me with one of her off beat smiles again and stops. “Wouldn’t be it be cool if there were rich people out there who would be willing to offer a great apartment to a nice stranger for a discounted rent? And they only ask that I pay my rent on time and earn their trust and faith?” I smile back at her. “Right?!” She chuckles. It’s a cool idea. “I’d really earn their trust too,” she says defiantly.
And then a moment later I loose her under her wool hat. She waves a goodbye into the air, and escapes into the evening.