Thursday, March 15, 2007

So these days we're living in that ridiculous apartment on India St. It's hilarious: the floors sag so much that we have 2" shims under one side of every piece of furniture. And the place is so small that we're sleeping on a pull-out couch that also serves as our couch. Funnily, though, we don't fold it back up to use it as a couch -- we just lean some pillows against the wall and sit sideways, with our legs sticking out in front of us. I don't know why we didn't just use a bed!

Well -- actually, I do know why, and this is kind of funny too. We do own a bed. It actually was my grandparents' bed, and my great-grandfather built it with his own hands. The confluence of three or four things are keeping us from using it; I actually believe that any one of them on its own would have been sufficient to deter us from using it, but all of them together are an unstoppable force. Here are the reasons:
  1. it's in storage, and W claims that the storage space is so tightly packed that we can't get anything out without spending a few hours unpacking and repacking the space (me, I've never been to the space);
  2. the last time we used it, our apartment became infested with bedbugs. Yes, bedbugs. You can't imagine how horrible that experience was. Anyway, we've read that they can live for a year without eating. This strikes me as damn near impossible, but that's what they say. So what if there are some bedbugs still living in that fucking bed, just waiting for us to take it out of storage again?
  3. I love my grandparents, but it's actually kind of a piece of shit as furniture goes. I mean... Wow, I can't believe I said that. It is beautiful, and it's amazing that my great-grandfather built it. I couldn't be happier to own it. But it's very rickety, and it's on little wheels. Having sex on it is a weird experience -- you are in serious danger of breaking it, and simultaneously it is inching across the floor. You're never sure where you'll end up.
  4. it's a little creepy sleeping in your dead grandparents' bed, much less having sex in it.

So, for those reasons, we are now sleeping on a true piece of shit futon couch. It is really -- realy really really -- really uncomfortable. It's small, and we are the crazy couple that doesn't just allow their dog to sleep with them, but actually insists on it -- we get our feelings hurt if she tries to sleep elsewhere. We call her. I think I've even gone over to her, picked her up, and brought her back to the bed. It's also all indented where we lie, so you don't have a flat surface underneath you, and some parts are hard and others are soft, and there's a big ridge between us.

Anyway, the kitchen in that apartment is so small that they couldn't fit a real refrigerator and stove in there -- we have mini versions of both! (Not a college fridge, but like a three-quarter size one or something.) And our only counter space is this thing we bought from Ikea that provides us with about three square feet of space, on which we have to keep our coffee maker, knives, any bread we have on hand, and our paper towels (there is literally no space for a paper towel dispenser on the wall). We use what's left over of that space for cooking.

The oddest thing about the place is the fact that the bathroom is outside the apartment. Basically, the apartment is the upstairs of a house. You come into the house, and you're in a common area; you walk up the stairs, and directly in front of you is our bathroom, and to the right is the door to our place. Mind you, we don't share the bathroom with anyone. But there's nothing to stop our downstairs neighbors from coming up to take a shit if they felt like it.

Which brings me to the downstairs neighbors. I have a feeling they are going to fall into the same category as the crazy old junkie with the cane who loved D -- weird people I didn't particularly care for at the time, but who I really don't want to forget about. They're a Polish couple, in maybe their 40's or 50's. Hard to tell, because hard living takes its toll, and the husband definitely likes to stay drunk. They had a hard time adjusting to D, because she tends to, well, howl at the top of her lungs for hours on end when she's left alone. But the amazing thing is that they have stayed completely nice about it -- they always tell me, in their broken English, "no problem." (That does seem to be a favorite English phrase among Polish speakers.) Yesterday I stopped and shot the shit with the husband for a good ten minutes, neither of us understanding a word the other was saying. He was talking about the weather, about the dog, something about the mail. It seems they had some sort of problem involving the mail and the woman who used to live in our place. The wife is also very nice, but she's weird in her own right: one day the doorbell rang at about 9 a.m., and I answered it. It was an old woman with a piece of paper in her hand w/ our address on it, asking for the woman downstairs. The woman comes out, in a full-on nightgown, obviously embarrassed for me to see her like that. The two of them go into the downstairs apartment. For the rest of the day, the whole house smells like hair products.

There's also a younger guy, probably college age, who lives there. We think he's not related to the other two, that he just rents a room in the front of the house. He is really quite nice. His room reeks of adolescent boy. Nasty. I almost never see him. I can't figure out whether he's always home or never home, but he's never seen going in or out of the house.

One more thing about the husband, a story that I hope to not forget: when we were moving in -- the very first time I meet the guy -- he comes outside the house, stinking of vodka, and insists on closing the door (which we have open so we can move our shit in). W and he nearly get into an altercation about this; then he goes to the mailbox and gets out the mail, takes a look at it, and starts getting irate: "the fucking post! Is wrong! Is wrong!" And he shows me the address label, as he's walking next door, presumably to drop it in their slot. The label shows his adress; but it has my name on it. I had to talk him down, convince him that it was right. I'm pointing at the address, then pointing at the street numbers on the house, I'm pointing at the name on the label, then pointing at myself going "me! Me!" And that was our introduction to the guy. Then we walk in the door and notice that there's a damn billy club hanging next to the door. I admit to being truly afraid at that point. But he turned out to be very nice, like I say.

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