Sunday 5:45pm 30July06
As I left to get groceries I noticed that some people were moving out. I looked on with a bit of happy jealousy imagining that people are moving into two bedroom apartments with solariums and balconies. Maybe an indoor pool and a sauna, yeah! And an apartment sized washer and dryer in their apartment that they don't have to share with anyone. I was going on along in my fantasy of the next perfect apartment and I saw that one of the people moving was one of my buddies.
I actually don't know him more than to say hi and stop and chat. But in those years of chats we've discovered that we're both artists and we root for eachother as neighbours.
I've had a few instances over the last few years that have made me come to realize that it won't be that easy to move away from this building. One thing is the give and receive system whereby if you don't want something anymore, you leave it on one of the window sills (if it's small) or in the hallway (if it's big) and someone else will take it. If it's really nice, they will leave a note on it asking if it's for the taking and leave either their phone number or apartment number.
There are a whole slew of us that have lived here for at least 15 years. More of those people have been inviting me to their apartments then ever before.
My superintendent knows how to spell both my first and last name correctly with an EY on the first name and a G not a Q on the last. When I commented on that he said, "Shelley, I've known you for 15 years!" Some of my best friends still spell my name wrong...
My Super had bypass surgery a few years ago and recently he mentioned to me that he hasn't been feeling well and he may have to go to the hospital. I worried about him the whole day and even went so far as to tell his grown son, "you better keep an eye on your Dad. He's not feeling well, we don't want anything bad to happen to him."
I've known more of the people on my floor in particular and in the building than I've ever bothered to know at some jobs. Everyone with a dog knows that I want a dog but can't get one yet and they tolerate the time I make them stop with their dogs in order for me to talk to their dogs and pat them and get my dog fill.
It's an old building and it has charm. It has the old style elevator with the door that you have to slide open. The elevator is so old it only has enough memory for one floor at a time. Once you get to that floor and close the door, only then can you punch another floor. It breaks down, not as frequently given it's age, but it's a great elevator.
Years ago, You were never allowed an animal in here and then if there was a fire alarm, you'd see most of the tenants standing outside with a pet in a carrier case. The two people that followed the rules were like, "Hey, I thought they said no pets!"
Those two people promptly went to the pet store or the Humane Society to change that miscommunication.
Yeah I want a bigger place and a balcony but I've never felt safer in my own place than living in this building. I know more faces in this building than not. I have my peace and quiet and those days when someone is blaring their music. Sometimes it's me who's blaring the music. For the most part no one complains.
I still didn't really get how much living in this building has meant to me until I found out that pickles and taters were moving away. Pickles had got hit by a car and his owner was so freaked out by it and a culmination of other things going on in her life that she decided to move away. Taters was so freaked out about it that he would bark protectively if anyone (Person or animal) came too close to Pickles. Taters was okay with me though. He knew I loved Pickles.
When I first met Pickles he sat in the old elevator and with his nose up in the air, staring at me, like I was his long lost friend. Whenever one of his owners opened their apartment door he would run to my door and scratch to come in until I let him in. If I wasn't home he would just lie in my doorway with his nose pressed up against the door. I swear he knew how much I wanted a dog and became my honorary dog. He made me laugh and stole the cat toys and gave me kisses and when I held him, he would move his head like he was showing me his cheek so I could kiss him.
As I patted the medicated Pickles after he'd been hit by a car and eyed his bandage and his owner told me they were leaving, I burst into tears. "I'm really going to miss you guys. I feel like I'm losing my family."
And that's it, in some ways there is a level of family in all these single dwelling apartments of people coming and going and making ends meet and ultimately moving to better places. But this is a great place too...
The first two pictures are just Pickles and the other two are Pickles and Taters. It's too funny because one day 'A' taped a package of pictures to my apartment door and on the back of one of the pictures she wrote the website address of pictures of the dogs, As I look through one of the albums now to choose a picture or two, there is 1078 pictures in it! And there is a slew of albums.
Now that's a person who loves her animals.