The landlord of our St. Catharines building has passed away but he left kind of a strange legacy.  In addition to owning our building he had at least one house (the one in which he lived) and I think one or two other properties.  He was a, shall we say, ‘abrasive’ sort of a guy.  As I mentioned, it took us several tries to get a new non-beety fridge even though he had a spare one sitting in his garage.

He apparently got on the nerves of his neighbours as well.  The house where he lived was built improperly with respect to property lines.  Most of his driveway and part of his backyard (and possibly a slice of his garage) were on his neighbour’s lot.  This normally would not be too much of a problem but it sounds as though he got up in their face enough times while they lived there that they decided a fence was in order.  They started putting it up.  In his driveway.  Normally I would think the neighbours were the ones with the malfunction but having known him, I can see where they might have come from.

Our neighbours within the building were a little odd.  We had direct dealings with very few of them.  The couple that lived opposite us on our floor were retirees of some indeterminate age.  The few interactions we had with them were positive.  They had been living there for some years and really liked it.  Partway through our tenure there a family of between 4 and 80 people moved in upstairs.  They had a very small and very, very colicky baby besides a couple of toddlers and maybe some grandparents.  With just two of us in our place, we would occasionally get in each others’ way so I can’t even imagine how they coped.

I don’t think I ever saw the guy who lived downstairs. I think I knew he was there in an intellectual sort of way (as in, I had been told that that apartment was rented) but as far as I know he could have been a ghost or a sloth or something.  The woman living opposite him (directly underneath us) was a different story.

I think she was married or at least had a long-term live-in boyfriend who was some sort of truck driver or possibly had another family someplace else in the city because he wasn’t there often and when he was they tended to fight.  Loudly.  Right under our living room.  Often.  At some point they broke up and I think that shut her the rest of the way down.  It was kind of sad and more than a little scary.

On the last night we lived there, she was drunk/high/??? and decided at about 12:30 to come up and make friends.  Or maybe she thought she lived upstairs instead of down.  Not really sure.  I had already long since gone to bed after packing all day but Amy was still awake and in the living room.  The woman walked in and was extremely disoriented (I didn’t hear any of this because I was in the back bedroom).  She may have thought it was her place but she started talking to Amy and bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t really gotten to know each other and now we were leaving and oh woe is everybody.  Amy managed to get her out of our house without violence and locked the door behind her.  “Happy to get out” does not even begin to describe the depth of feeling we had when we shook the dust from our feet and walked away.

i don’t mind the sun sometimes