Elana Elisa Dishes Out Some Dirt

The elevator’s acting up again, so I take the stairs to my attic studio. On the third floor, I bump into Elana Elisa.

She puts a hand on my forearm. “Do you have a couple of minutes?” she says.

I wait too long for any lie to sound natural. “Sure,” I say.

“I was just going down to get the mail, and I thought I’d tell you some things. Seeing as you’re new here, it wouldn’t hurt to know a little more about your neighbors.”

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In which Hugh struggles with futility

If there’s a dominant feeling in Hugh’s life now, it’s futility. He had at one point a successful career in finance, felt that his success qualified him to speak about success more generally and become a life coach. He imagined himself a famous motivational speaker, with best-selling self-help books, seminars, crowds of admirers.

And he struggled for years, drained his savings, and took to drink.

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Kilter Street Profiles: Elana Elisa

Elana Elisa thinks I’m harmless. I don’t doubt that behind my back she’ll say unflattering things about me. But she’ll also confide in me, because I’m discreet and inoffensive to her.

Origins & Appearance

She’s middle-aged with short, curly dark hair. Her favorite outfit is a turquoise tracksuit. She generally favors tracksuits, though she isn’t given to exercising much. Her skin is pale, and she’s told me she dislikes sunlight.

She was born in Florida.

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Kilter Street Profiles: Howard

Howard is a grad student. Often, I see him roaming the basement laundry room in pajama bottoms and a faded t-shirt, a far-off look in his eyes.

Origins & Appearance

Howard is slender and athletic, with dark hair and eyes. He’s in his mid-20s.

His mom’s side of the family is Korean. On his dad’s side, his grandparents are a US military veteran and a woman from the Philippines. Howard himself was born in Mexico (to vacationing parents who didn’t expect him to arrive a month before his due date).

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Kilter Street Profiles: Dora

Dora is intimidating without seeming to try. She steps into a room, and you get nervous, just a little. She doesn’t even have to say or do anything. She’s a private detective, so if you know this about her, it’s probably part of the reason you’re more on guard around her.

Origins & Appearance

Dora is tall, big-hipped, and blonde. In her mid-thirties probably. Her hair is thick and looks like it has the strength of Rapunzel’s. She’s’ got a strong bone structure and delicate, papery skin around her eyes. They’re a brilliant blue.

From what I’ve heard, she was born in Chicago.

Impressions of Her Character

As I’ve gotten to know her a little better, I’ve found that she’s more easygoing than expected. She likes to laugh and enjoy good food and watch dumb shows to relax after a long day. Though she has a cynical streak and sometimes expresses a bleak outlook on people, she doesn’t seem to be embittered.

She also doesn’t place much stock on convention or public opinion. Thoughts and feelings need to make sense to her on her own terms; she doesn’t accept them only because other people do.

Kilter Street Profiles: Anjelica Lopez

Anjelica Lopez, of Apt. 1a, is a CPA.

There are also rumors that she can open portals to other worlds. (I overheard a conversation between Zeb and Dora outside the mailroom, but it’s possible I misunderstood them. Maybe they meant it metaphorically – like, she opens doors to new financial worlds for her clients.)

Origins & Appearance

Anjelica, who appears to be in her late 20s or early 30s, was born in Salinas, CA.

She usually wears her long hair parted into two braids. It’s dark with some reddish tints.

She uses a wheelchair. Hanging from the back of the chair is a small key. It isn’t the key to her front door.