It’s the lord. I know it is the lord. Trickster. Tester. Ticking me off. Putting the cat crap in the hall. Pressing on my back. Pushing the fire escape gate against the air conditioner so that it sounds like a jackhammer. Causing me to turn it off.

Fine, I say. You win. Am I the only person that smells this? Am I the only person that cares?

I get up and button my blue western, quietly unlatching the door and grabbing the trash bag. A little spider crawls out and climbs up the wall. The bag is heavier than I was expecting. I had picked it up with the tips of my left hand but it is slipping. I have to use my right.

Please lord, I pray, don’t make this a routine.

I set the bag down on the sidewalk.

If the Lord is laughing I can’t hear it.