A knock on my door is usually a bad sign.
It was one of my tenants of course. She’d been trying to open her old push up window when it’d slammed shut and she couldn’t get it open. It was in the high 70’s and we’re on the sunny side of the building. It was HOT. I could understand her frustration.
I was in my loungewear sans bra but went over there anyway. She apologized on the way to her unit about the messiness. I’d been in her apartment before a couple of times and when I tell you that “messy” does not begin to explain the state of her abode, I am serious. Dead serious.
Her front door does not open all the way because of clothes on hangers 10 deep hanging from the back of the door and stacks of miscellaneous books and bags flanking the hallway wall. The hardwood floor is barely visible beneath scattered papers littering my path to the kitchen. The bits of floor that do show are filthy. Once white tile in the kitchen looks marbled from dirt. Stacks of tupperwear tower precariously on the kitchen counters. Every available space has something on it that doesn’t actually belong there. Cabinets hang open stuffed to the brim with food. The living room furniture is covered in books and whatnot. I try not to stare but my morbid curiosity is peaked every time.
From my apartment to her kitchen window she was going on and on about how she was going to tell the landlords that these windows are not safe and they have to replace them. I’m reminded that the last time she needed my help another window in her apartment had slipped out of her hands as she was lowering it and it slammed shut. The force of the blow broke the window. It was raining that day and she called me in a bit of a panic while I was at work.
Obviously, she and windows don’t get along very well.
I tugged at the window a couple times, half-listening to her, wanting just to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE BECAUSE OH MY GOD IT IS SO MESSY AND MY NEAT FREAK IS NOT OKAY WITH THIS KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. On my third try it went up and as she was securing the plank of wood to hold it open she said that she had cut all the pull cords on the windows. Um, yeah, not smart. This is definitely contributing to her “issues” with her apartment windows.
I tried not to look too desperate to flee as I carefully backed out of the apartment. I mentioned to her that if the landlords were to change her windows they’d have to change the entire side of the building for aesthetic reasons and that would likely be very costly. I have more updated windows in my unit because I am on a corner but they come with their own issues. I had to hassle them for screens when I moved in but the ones they installed keep falling apart. I’ll come home to the screen mesh flapping in the wind sometimes. This is not good when you have cats and you are a worrier because then every time you leave the window open you wonder if the cat will jump up on the ledge and accidentally fall out of the crappy screen. Eeek!
She said her thanks and I left wondering how on earth a person can live like that- with no available clear surface on the floor or furniture, with so much stuff scattered everywhere, too many belongings none with a proper resting place.
Just goes to show you that you never know what’s behind a person’s door.