“Man Down the Hall,” by Annie Stopyro

Jan 14th, 2015 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Man Down the Hall leaves his place three times a day, carrying nothing as he crosses the parking lot to his indistinct car. The first outing occurs around 9:00 a.m. and lasts about fifteen minutes, after which he returns with a disposable hot drink cup, presumably filled with coffee. The cup’s logo is yet to be determined. The matter has not been investigated with binoculars.

The second departure takes place three hours later and lasts a little longer. Man Down the Hall hurries back clutching the telltale bag of a fast food meal. From its size, which does not vary with the days, the bag appears to hold both a largish sandwich and a large side of fries, though the drink does not appear to be upgraded in size. Again, logos undetermined.

The third and final trip of the day is usually at 2:30, but has been as early as 2:00 and as late as 4:30. This time, Man Down the Hall returns with a six pack of beer. The type of beverage has been determined, with verification at the recycling bin, to be Bud Light Lime. On one or two occasions, MDTH has been seen to embark on a second identical trip as night falls.

Man Down the Hall is rarely spotted engaging in any outings beyond the three trips a day, except on Sunday evening, when his patterns elude thorough detection.

What Man Down the Hall does all day aside from these three missions is unknown. MDTH has not been seen to interact with any others in the building or transport any usual goods, such as groceries. MDTH appears to be in his 30s and without visible health issues. His habits are of a solitary nature, and he’s only once been spotted on a cell phone. He has been seen wearing the same purple shirt three days in a row and is typically clean shaven. He is known to smoke cigarettes on his balcony. The sound of televised sports has been heard frequently in the hallway outside his unit.

While it appears that MDTH is without employment, one cannot exclude the possibility that he partakes in a work-from-home opportunity. If it’s fair to assume a work day starts with coffee and ends with beer, MDTH has an enviable 9:00-2:30 schedule, with a break for lunch.

Another more plausible explanation is that MDTH is conducting extensive research, with only himself as the subject, submitting to rigorous testing to determine the effects on a healthy 30-something male of a steady routine of coffee, fast food, cigarettes, television, weak beer, and little else.

Man Down the Hall’s identity would be easily procurable from the front entrance call box, and this information combined with research via internet search engines could potentially shed light on the mysteries of Unit 101. However, it has been determined that MDTH has been subjected to enough scrutiny and that his privacy shall be no further violated.
Defenestration-Annie StopyroDespite surviving the 2014 Polar Vortex, Annie Stopyro has not abandoned her native Minnesota. She was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writing Contest. Her works has appeared in Neutrons Protons, Sun Sailor, and is forthcoming at Project Underblog. She blogs at SmackDabHere.com.

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