My new apartment has a lovely little balcony that looks out over the parking lot and to the street. The building is in a U-shape and I’m right at the centre of that U. People in their apartments or pulling in to the parking lot can see straight up my business.
Luckily, I had a big bag of scarves, many different colours and sizes. Luckily I had a mother who loved these kinds of things. Some years ago I had an apartment with lots of windows and bamboo blinds on the first floor of the building so I used the scarves to weave through the blinds for, well, a blind.
So, sitting on my balcony, drinking wine in my underpants, I wasn’t particularly happy being on full view. The plants have just started and don’t cover much. Not underpants in my size. So, I was happy to revisit the scarves and strung them up along with a large orange fish net I’ve had for way too many years. (Hoarding tendencies) I must say, I was very pleased with the result. It also is a big draw for humming birds.
Not so with one of my neighbours. I was coming home one day to find her in the parking lot talking to the security/cleaner kid. She was pointing up to my balcony and shaking her head, hands on hips, very authority, like a sour old librarian.
Sure enough, a few days later, my door bell rings and here is Parking Lot Kid. He doesn’t know any English and my Spanish is limited to a few words and some interpretive dance, but I know why he’s there. I say, No, I like them and then I asked if it was Señora with the piano. He nods yes. I kiss my finger tips and slap myself on the ass. He laughs, leaves, I assume it’s done and dusted.
Then the other day he stops me again in the parking lot and gads me a rather soggy letter, all in Spanish and then shows me another and signals I have to sign it. While Parking Lot Kid goes to get the pen I look the letter over. First, Name of Building. Okay. Looks official. But the body of the letter doesn’t. It’s in a fun font, like comic sans, something you would use to announce a yard sale or baby shower. Plus, it’s closed with Administration. But no actually signature. I know it’s from the sour librarian.
I immediately send a copy to my landlord in New York (We Love Him) and he goes haywire! Phone calls and texts and emails, Oh, my! Scarves? Still there. I sat out a few nights later with candles and my Dixie Lights (Battery run Christmas strings sent by my friend called Dixie) and a lovely Malbec. I saw her pull in the parking lot and it was just a series of doors slamming for about fifteen minutes.
Would you ask Steven Tyler to take his scarves down?
No. No you wouldn’t.