>Less than a year ago today, I moved out with A., aka funniest man I know. We had known each other for at least two seconds. We ran away to Ottawa and tried to settle into our one bedroom apartment situated at the crossroads of Loserville Ave and Iregretmyteenagepregnancy Lane. The place was cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and came complete with a screaming toddler who I can only assume was being tortured regularly down the hall.
So when A. suggested we move, I hesitated. What would I do without my daily dose of screaming Carter, the king of the terrible twos? And what about our waterfront property, overlooking the swimming pool of sludge that overflowed with dirty diapers in the winter and with rotten children in the summer? How would we find a place to match our current apartment bliss?
And it’s not just our current apartment that the new place would have to measure up to. Take a look at these juicy chateaus of awesomeness:
Ezmy resides in a one bedroom basement flat twenty minutes from UVic. Said flat contains: One broken chair with matching three legged table, one tired goldfish, one futon bed that fills the bedroom entirely, and a collection of mismatched pots and pans. The entire apartment save the bathroom is carpeted in new-born-baby-poo coloured carpet. The couple living upstairs, affectionately referred to as the Laundry Nazis, argue constantly and refuse to let her use the washing machine. They do, however, deliver chocolate cake on occasion. But the joy of this is quickly muted by the handwritten message shoved under the door informing Ezmy that she is not allowed to have “gentlemen callers”. She moves out after four months.
Ezmy moves to Wallace, a residence on UVic campus. Single room = fantastic. “Mature Building” = I’m sorry what? I couldn’t hear you over the beer funnel. Cafeteria food, fantastic crew of friends, and the constant flow of fresh, young guys/gals to corrupt make this place the best place Ezmy lives in for years to come. It’s like Spring Break every day.
Having failed everything due to the awesomeness of the previous living arrangement, Ezmy drops out of school, runs away to Toronto at the wise old age of 19, and moves into a one bedroom basement shack with good pal AB. While there is no heat, the only bathroom is in the bedroom which means that when AB has gentlemen callers, Ezmy gets to hear them pee. Also interesting is the persistent dog smell and the complete lack of security. Ezmy and AB are a simple bathroom door lock away from the rapists and murderers. The apartment is furnished with a couch retrieved from the street, a coffee table donated to them from AB’s aunt, and a 1960s black and white television. Capping off this splendor is the couple upstairs who argue loudly all morning about money whilst their screaming toddler plays Let’s Catch the Dog on rollerskates.
Ezmy relocates with AB to a new apartment. They are joined by two other ladies who turn out to be strippers in disguise. The new house, a four bedroom Leaning Tower of Pisa, is over-flowing with mice which Stripper #1’s cat takes to drowning in her water bowl. The fridge, when it works, is full of rotten canteloupe and leftover eggs and the shelves are stocked with laxative tea. The front balcony has bags of garbage on it that are there when Ezmy arrives in July 2002 and still there when she leaves in May 2003. The kitchen light never works. When not practicing their routines, Stripper #1 and #2 are either a) baked, b) entertaining “clients”, or c) both. For a full week, Ezmy listened to “I wear my sunglasses at night” on repeat because this was the new routine song. Sometimes the Strippers go on eating binges – while fun, this generally means that Ezmy will not be able to use the washroom for the next two days as it will be occupied.
Ezmy moves to Roy Jodrey Hall, a residence at Acadia University. Once again, she is forced to live on cafeteria food (read bagels and cream cheese as this is the only edible food substance in said cafeteria) and cheap beer which somehow isn’t as fulfilling a diet as it was back in 1999. Also, there is a distinct lack of people to make out with, largely because the campus ratio is 4-1 but also because Ezmy is old at 23. Luckily Ezmy meets DM, a strapping young lad who proceeds to make the next three years extremely difficult albeit interesting. A massive learning experience is about to take place. But before then, Ezmy must endure a full year of listening to a student metal band down the hall destroy Black Sabbath tunes and sharing a washroom with a guy who pees around instead of in the toilet and a girl who wears more perfume than all of France.
Ezmy and DM move to a two-bedroom apartment across the street from the local cemetery which is disturbingly busy for a town of 3000. Said apartment is carpeted with beige shag from the 70s and a brilliant yellow floral tile from the same time period. The bathroom has an intriguing colour scheme of robin’s egg blue, porn-star orange, avocado green and dirt brown. From the day they move in to the day they move out, the entire place smells of furniture polish and fish eggs.
Ezmy and DM relocate to a one bedroom cement shack in the same town. This apartment is made entirely of cinder-block which has been painted white, presumably to give it a more home-y feel but resulting in a stark, psychiatric ward feel. The kitchen is not so much a room as a glorified hallway leading to the bedroom. The bathtub has no tile around the faucet but instead has packing tape holding said faucet to the wall – packing tape which grows blacker with mildew every day but which is impossible to remove from the wall. The ceiling leaks every time the people upstairs shower, contributing to a persistent wall of mold in the bathroom and an equally persistent smell of used shower curtain in the apartment. The man living next door refers to his girlfriend affectionately as “Stupid Bitch” and the gentlemen living above us have a steady stream of underage “hoes” visiting them. The apartment itself is located on top of the largest hill in the world at the bottom of which is the university, grocery store, and all other necessities. This goes from being a pain in the ass to a downright hellish nuisance when DM decides to move to Halifax, taking his car with him. Ezmy gets amazing legs.
UPDATE: Radmama has pointed out another fun fact about the above apartment that I can only assume I missed because I’ve subconsiously tried to block it from my memory. Living above us was a guy I refered to as “Creepy Dan”, a single father with a kid who I’m still convinced he rented to give him the appearance of being normal. I’ve never met anyone creepier and I lived in downtown Toronto for years and worked in some pretty sketchy bars/restaurants. He’d sit on his porch while his rented kid rode his trike around and he would stare at the “hoes” and, more annoyingly, me. Long, greasy hair in a pony tail, skinny, and just icky. Icky, icky, icky. You had to be there but trust me, Icky with a capital I.
Shockingly, we were able to find an even better apartment than those listed above. After an extensive apartment search (read we looked at two apartments one lazy Sunday), A. and I decided to rent the second floor of a house. Two bedrooms, balcony, sunroom, nifty bathroom complete with claw-foot tub (yay!), and a stone’s throw away from everything including a Starbucks. Doodle and Zoe are in seventh heaven as the place is full of sitting spots from which to view all of the doings in the neighbourhood. Aside from the slight smell of hardwood floor polish, which I assume will air out shortly, this apartment is perfect.
After living on her own for 10 years, Ezmy has finally found a place that feels like home.
Pictures to be posted soon…