The lamp wouldn't turn on. "Shit," Mel muttered. "Jerry!"
Of course, he wouldn't come. He was in the tiny bathroom, savoring the one amenity included in the rent, his head bowed under the shower's heavy, erratic spray.
Mel moved over to the dusty window. Rocking back and forth with Ollie on her hip, she pulled the curtain aside and grabbed at a cloth sitting on the sill. Not caring what it was, she wiped at the windows and tried to see out. Somehow they never seemed to stay clean. Mel was amazed at the amount of dust that always seemed to wind up inside their studio apartment. Not that it mattered anyway; nothing to look at out the window but a bunch of building roofs, a few other dusty windows.
"Jerry!" Mel wandered toward the ancient refrigerator before realizing she couldn't open it if the power was off. She went to the cupboard instead and pulled out a box of cereal. She filled a small bowl and went back to the stained, old desk near the window. Setting Ollie in his carrier on the floor next to her, she sat down to work on the reading for class. "Well," she thought, "at least I'm doing something right."