Sunday, September 9, 2007

there is no, this is no

Harold is coming by later. Two days ago, when I was sitting on the fire escape, I saw something fall through one of the cracks in the metal slats that make up the floor of the thing. I had no idea what it was, only that it was small, metallic, and not my phone, which I'm supremely paranoid about accidentally tossing over the edge.

I had completely forgotten about whatever it was that had fallen, until I passed Harold in the stairway today. He was talking with the superintendent about some repairs he wanted done in his apartment (my sink has no hot water tap and parts of my refrigerator are held together with duct tape).

Harold speaks with his chin tucked into his chest and jerks his head upwards at every pause. I think about pigeons ever time we talk. Now the pigeon is behind me on the stairs, cooing my name. I don't hear him until I'm in the courtyard and I turn and see him coming, doing an awkward half-run-shuffle towards me and the dog. He moves like he's performing some kind of reverse puppetry. Like all of his appendages are attached to strings, only he's the one pulling, against some motionless puppeteer.

He found the thing I forgot I had lost: Ela's dog tags. They are in his apartment and he will bring them over later.

I entertain myself by imagining that I'm dead and this building is some kind of purgatory that I share with Harold. I never see anyone else here. Its Harold coming home with groceries as I'm going out for the evening. Harold is holding the door as I'm coming home from work. Harold finds Ela's tags. Harold is dropping off his rent cheque at the same time I am, two days late.

I guess there are some others, but there are so few that its kind of eerie. Patrick lives down the hall and doesn't like it when I let Ela pee on the lawn. Alfredo has two or maybe three scruffy looking children and a wife who only speaks Yugoslavian. I hear a lot of rap music coming from 201, and there used to be an old man on the first floor, but I saw his kids cleaning out the apartment a few weeks ago. Thats it.

So purgatory is a spacious apartment building in Parkdale, with a view of the lake. I think that it could be worse.


Greg said...

What kind of name is Harold? HAROLD? Next time you name your imaginary friends, TRY HARDER.

Greg said...


Hi, I'm Corrina said...


Greg said...

I did. This is it.

Enchant and Doom said...

Shouldn't there be a Nuit Blanche post here by now? Graydon already has three.