– Bernard Black / Dylan Moran, “Black Books: A Nice Change” #2.6 (2002)
Last weekend we handed over the keys. This followed a night of sweeping and polishing a floor that – no matter how much we SWIFFERED HARDER, DAMN IT – still could not be freed of all cat fluff. Those stray hairs and random popcorn kernels are a part of our tenancy that the apartment clung to, like a serial killer who keeps trophies of each victim.
It is hard to know that you’ve cleaned out every nook and cranny when the building has spent the last 86 years making nooks and crannies the primary characteristic of its uniquely vintage facade.
It’s also hard to decide what I will miss most: the crooked everything, from walls, to door frames, to windows, to floors; the fact that only one plug in the entire apartment is three-pronged; the ever-present pot smell in the hallway; the constant dub-step emanating from the bro downstairs; the trip into the horror film basement every time a fuse needs replacing; the windows that rattle in the wind, leak in the rain, won’t open in the blistering heat, or (if you’re talking about the window in the shower stall) won’t close at all; or the leaky radiator, which, when you list all the others, now seems such a minor complaint that we totally forgot about it until the radiator kicked back into operation mid-September and left a puddle of water that ran directly across the living room because the building is sinking on one side.
Goodbye, Negatively Fourth Street. Goodbye New West Egg. Goodbye Slanty Shanty. Whatever we decided to call you, good riddance.