Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Smell Dead People!

My friend Michelle, over at The Surly Writer, has been looking for a new apartment.  The mention of apartment searches brought back memories of the apartment I had years ago in Colorado.

My ex and I had decided to move to Canon City to look for work, since his sister lived there and said we could easily find something.  No job prospects, but we were young and the idea of living near the mountains was very appealing.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  So one September, we loaded up the old Fiat sedan and made the drive from Iowa to Colorado.   

First things first, as soon as we arrived we started looking for an apartment.  We looked at a few, but they seemed kind of expensive, what with not having jobs and all.  Then we spotted the ad in the paper. 

For Rent:  Half house, garage.  $95/month.

Score!  We called and made an appointment to see the place, hoping nobody else had snatched up this bargain before us.  The person on the other end of the line seemed overly glad to hear from us.  We wondered why, but didn't think too much about it. 

The apartment was perfect!  Lovely old brick building downtown,  with a living room, parlor, kitchen and a bathroom on the first floor, (which would be perfect for a darkroom for the photographer ex.)  Upstairs were three bedrooms and another bathroom.  Plus a private back yard and garage.  We'd take it!

We couldn't resist asking the question, though... why were they offering the apartment so cheaply?  Did it have heat?  Did the roof leak?  Were the neighbors loud?

No, no problems with any of those things.  There was just the small issue of the smell in the parlor.  Well, we had to confess we did notice an odd aroma.  In the interest of full disclosure, the landlord told us the sad story of the previous tenant.  An older lady.  Who died.  In August.  With the windows closed.  Whose acquaintances didn't realize they hadn't heard from her until about two weeks later.

Ah... that explained it.  It also explained the strange stain on the oak floor in the parlor, which she had used for her bedroom.  The stain in the shape of a body.

Turns out the lady left a bit of herself in the apartment.  Which was kind of off-putting to all the other prospective tenants.  But, since the ex's father was a medical examiner, we were used to weird stuff like that.  Didn't bother us in the least.  A contraire!  We thought it made for scintillating dinner conversation with guests!

Strangely though, my sister-in-law and her husband never wanted to come to our house for those scintillating dinner conversations.  They were happy to have dinner with us... just not at our house.  And when my sister, her boyfriend and my mom came to visit, the boyfriend was none to happy about having to sleep in the parlor.  Geesh!  What's with these people?

Some people are just so picky about where they eat and sleep! 

So, Michelle, I think I know where you can find an apartment... cheap!  And the smell's probably long gone by this time!  Score!
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