neighbourhood · neighbours

The Past Came To Visit

Last night as the Husband and I settled into our Poang chairs — some of the few pieces of furniture we’ve moved to the house for our own comfort — after a short evening of work, we heard a bit of a bang upstairs. Mocha sat at our feet chewing on one of her many bones and Pekoe was at home at the condo, missing us, perhaps, but safe, and in no position to create any noise that we could hear.

A second later, a pair of legs started to descend the back stairs.


“Oh, you guys are in already,” the stranger said. “My mom said you wouldn’t be here until the 19th.”

“Nope. March 31st.”

He backed out of the house. “I just forgot some stuff in the garage. I thought I had more time to get it out. Is it ok?”

He was friendly, Greek, and as he started making trips into the back of the garage, bringing out buckets and brooms, he stopped every 5 minutes to chat. He was the owner’s son, had lived in the house 5 years ago, presumably before they started renting it in earnest.

“We had a huge garden in the back,” he said. “Oh, you’re gonna love it!” His cousin whipped out his phone and started showing us pictures of a generic garden, close ups of lettuce and pea plants.

He offered warnings about our neighbour — “Don’t let him tell you that piece of land isn’t yours.” — and the apartment buildings behind us — “All that garbage in your backyard? They throw it. They’re aiming for the dumpster, but they miss. It’s disgusting.”

But, he also told us about our other neighbour — “That guy’s the best. Awesome barbequer. And he’ll invite you over too!” — and the neighbourhood — “You guys are gonna love it here.”

It was a fun encounter and a good chance to understand a little more about our little house. Next time he comes back to collect any more mail or anything, I think we’ll invite him in and give him a chance to see the changes. We hope he’ll hardly even recognize the place.

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