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The unseen good old man

Posted by on September 10, 2004

We’ve gotten a few pieces of mail addressed “To The Estate Of” for the guy who used to live in our apartment. I, in my ignorance of polite euphemisms, thought this meant he was just, you know, rich, with an estate, but the Lad says this means he is dead.

You might begin to wonder, did he die in this very apartment? You might be sitting on the red couch (which for various complex reasons is referred to as the white couch, despite the actual white couch sitting next to it), hating yourself for watching Dark Angel and eating a cupcake Kati Vol left in your fridge. It would be around 10:30 at night, and the Lad is in Boston, and all the other lights in the apartment are off, when you start to think about that adorable little window between the living room and bedroom. You start to imagine the benevolent, slightly pale face of a very old man suddenly peeking through that window, just watching you silently, terrifying only in this context but still terrifying. You might try to decide whether it would be more or less terrifying if he were to say hello. Or maybe the ghost of the old dead man will be angry, angry because the landlord remodeled the kitchen for us after he died, or angry because we’re using the mirrored closet for the Lad’s monster shelves when the old man would have put them somewhere else. In any case, his angry face would contort and scowl and roar and the difficulties then would be

1) trying to get past him to either the front or back door in this ridiculously circular apartment where he could come at you from either direction, and

2) trying to grab shoes and your wallet on the way out so that you will be able to hop on a well-lit and populated train to the Moms in the far east, and

3) trying to break your one-year lease by explaining that your apartment is haunted by a benevolent (or maybe rageful) dead old man.

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