Thanks for Looking After Sinamyn|
by James Iredell
Here are a few tips/instructions to help you out (though I'm sure you'll do just fine by yourself!):
Getting to the Apt.:
If you're coming from Riverside, you'll want to turn onto Magnolia. So, if you're coming from north to south on Riverside, that means you'll want to turn right onto Magnolia; if you're coming from south to north, take a left. If you're coming in on I-75, you'll want to get off at the Downtown exit. If you get to the Cemetery Road exit, you've gone too far. That's all if you're coming from south to north on 75. If you're coming from north to south on 75, still take the Downtown exit, but don't go so far that you reach the junction with 16, because then you've gone too far. Once you take the exit (the Downtown exit), you'll want to take a right or a left, depending on which direction you exited the freeway from. If you came in from south to north, then you want to take a left when you get to the light. If you came from north to south, take a right.
Once you get to Magnolia, my building will be on your left, at the end of the block. It's a seven-storey brick building. But, if you come at night you probably won't be able to make out the bricks, or how tall the building is (there are lots of trees!), so look for the drug store on the right at about the middle of the street. It's a CVS, and next door is a Blockbuster. The Blockbuster and CVS are only about fifty yards from my building, which will be on the left. You can park on the street from 10 AM to 4 PM for two hours before you get a ticket. But if you come during rush hour (between 6 AM and 9 AM and from 4 PM to 6 PM) you won't be able to park at all, and your car will be towed. But if you come really early (before 6 AM) or late (after 6 PM) you won't have to worry about parking at all. But, Sinamyn doesn't like to have visitors that early or late, so I recommend not coming during those times. Also, as for the parking, Magnolia's not exactly a "safe" street during those hours, so if you park, be sure not to leave any valuables in plain sight, and I'd just leave the doors unlocked, so that the homeless don't break any windows before they rifle through your things. Once, I parked on the street and I came back and found syringes on the floorboards and I'd only been parked down there for like twenty minutes!
Once you get to the front of the building (the address is 419, FYI; I know you've been here before, but, just to be safe!), look to the left, on the brick wall (here you'll actually be able to see the bricks—even at night, because of the street lamps. They're really old, aren't they?), which will be west of the main door. There's a telephone dialing pad sort of thing there. Dial *0265, which will unlock the front door. Then you can get inside. Inside, there will be a hallway to the left, but don't go down that. To your right is the staircase. Take the stairs to the second floor. At the second floor there will be a door labeled "2." Open the door. You'll want to turn left inside the hallway, and take another left. There's no other way to go, so you shouldn't have any trouble with this part! On the left-hand side of the hallway you'll see my apt., No. 265 (I know, I haven't changed the code to unlock the doors downstairs yet, and I should probably get around to that, but I knew you'd be looking after Sinamyn and this would make things easier, so I've been putting it off), about three doors down on the left. The floors here are all original hardwood, so if you're wearing heels, they tend to clack quite loudly. That's not a problem, unless you're coming at those really early or late times, because I wouldn't want you wake up the neighbors. Mrs. Gitlen, (across the hall) is kind of old, and rather suspicious, and I don't think she sleeps much, like many old people, or she is a terribly light sleeper, and she might wake up and think you're a stranger and call the police.
Once you're inside the apt. (the other day at work I gave you two keys. The round one's for the deadbolt, the square one's for the knob; I had them made that way so you wouldn't get them mixed up). The kitchen counter will be on your left, and that's where I usually set down my purse when I come home. It's just a convenient place to put down your things so that you can get settled before taking care of Sinamyn. By the way, thanks so much for this; you're a big help!
Sinamyn only needs to eat once a day (she's been on a diet since she started puffing up, and the vet said that for her age she shouldn't be putting on that much weight, so I'm not feeding her as much), so, like I said, you only need to come over that one time during the day, and whether you come at night or in the morning is up to you, but try not to let more than 24 hours go between feedings.
To the right of the kitchen counter (mentioned above) you'll find the refrigerator. On the right side of the refrigerator (when facing the fridge, this will be the north side) is the refrigerator compartment. The left side is the freezer. You shouldn't need to get into the freezer at all, especially if you don't give in to Sinamyn's whining for more food! I've left enough for her to cover the day I'm gone, but should you need any extra, there's some in the freezer. If you open the freezer, on the middle shelf (the top shelf contains the frozen tofu, and the bottom shelf my ice cream. Sorry, I know there's a lot of ice cream. I don't know why I'm saying sorry about that; it's my ice cream and I shouldn't feel bad; I'm just thinking what you might be thinking of when (or if) you see all that ice cream. Vanilla's my favorite, and, well, you know what kind of month it's been, so you can probably understand) you'll find ziplock freezer bags of Sinamyn's food. These have been frozen to preserve the flavors, because I read online that if the food is kept in its packaging at room temperature for more than six months, it gets bland. I don't know how it is that they know that. Can you imagine? I always stock up on Sinamyn's food for at least eight to twelve months, just because I don't want it to snow (I know, it's crazy, since we live in Florida, but still!) and I couldn't get the car out of the garage for all the ice and make it to the grocery store, or PetSmart, only to find out that other pet owners had beat me to it and the food's all gone. So, should you need more food (but I doubt you will) take one freezer bag and set it in the big pot in cold water in the sink to defrost. That's how I do it. I don't like to use the microwave, because eventually-even on defrost-it starts to cook the food, and then it turns into this mushy mess that Sinamyn won't even look at. She's a very fickle little thing. If you turn around from the refrigerator, you'll be facing the island that sits in the middle of the kitchen, where the sink is. To the left of the sink, and below it, is a cupboard, and inside you'll find pots and pans. The "Big Pot" I use, is the dutch oven-looking one that has the clear lid and sits on the bottom right-hand side of the cupboard. Use this to defrost the extra food. Just drop the freezer bag into the pot, cover it with water from the tap and let it sit in the sink. It usually takes about twenty minutes to defrost. Feel free to sit and watch television while you're waiting. You can also watch TV while Sinamyn's eating, before you take her on her walk. If there's nothing good on the TV, I have every season of Buffy on DVD. Operating instructions for the television and DVD player follow below...
James Iredell lives in Atlanta and teaches at Georgia Perimeter College. He wrote Before I Moved to Nevada (Publishing Genius Press), When I Moved to Nevada (Greying Ghost Press), and Atlanta (Paper Hero Press). His writing has also appeared in Hotel St. George, SUB-LIT, Willows Wept Review, The Angler, Organization and Environment, and many other magazines. He co-founded the literary magazine New South and designs books for C&R Press.
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