Slide, a barber with a mysterious past, is new to town and full of misplaced confidence. He pictures himself living in a luxurious building with breathtaking views of the skyline, but instead finds himself in a decrepit apartment with two eccentric roommates. One is a reclusive giant, while the other is a neurotic who obsesses over his weight and has a penchant for keeping dozens of lamps lit at all times.
Determined not to settle for this subpar living situation, Slide sets out on a mission to find his dream apartment. He navigates the chaotic and sprawling city of Polis, bouncing from one temporary living situation to the next, all while rubbing shoulders with some unsavory characters. As he struggles to carve out a place for himself in this world, Slide realizes that he’ll need to fight tooth and nail just to secure a decent apartment, let alone one with in-unit laundry. It’s a wild and unpredictable journey that takes him through all corners of the city, but Slide remains undeterred in his quest to find the perfect place to call home.
“Pay As You Go” by Eskor David Johnson has been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize and is this month’s Book club selection.