Editorial - When Do I scream? - On Renting In Kits
North - January
You ever regret something
just seconds after you did it? That sort of chill you get when you walk
away from a situation and realise that you have probably made a huge mistake
but theres nothing you can do about it now. Its done. You
signed. Dr Faustus would know what I was talking about.
I have rented this apartment. Its a bit run down but being by the
bay and the beach and all the best coffee bars the city has to offer I
figured I would overlook the exhausted state of the cupboards, the wonky
stove and scruffy shag pile. Theres no view, but it is on the sunny
side of the building and thats important to me. There is, however,
something strange about the building. OK, I confess its a deal because
someone passed away in there and well theres a number of people
in this town who wouldnt live in a place anyone died in. Ever. I
figure that I must have lived in twenty places where people died in by
now, after all in the UK or Africa its pretty normal, even preferable
to die at home in your sleep - so thats not what worries me.
The storage room, now that is a little worrying. The locker over from
mine has piles of boxes that say Live Ammo and Explosives
on their sides. They are military green metal boxes and it kind of disturbs
me. If that isnt weird enough, the storage locker on the other side
has just one old wooden box lying in the middle of it marked Timmy.
It is a tad freaky - but only if Timmy is still inside it
of course. There are however curious scratch marks on the concrete walls
down there leading up to the barred windows and a damp musty smell. Whilst
I was looking around, an old dear walked in, wearing a pink housecoat
and riding boots. It was novel I grant you, but strangely sinister.
All perfectly normal in a building as old as this, I was told.
Everyone except you is an owner occupier.
Most of them since it was new in 1958 it seems. There would be people
on E-Bay whod die to get hold of the antique fridge in my apartment,
never mind the shower nozzle, which must have been designed for an elephant
Up on the fourth floor a tenant told me that hadnt seen the occupant
of number 419 since 1999 and the mail is stacking up. There was a strange
strangled noise coming from 412 that could have been a goat, but then
I was in a hurry to get settled. I kind of overlooked the orange walls
and flecked carpets, but now I think about it, it could have been blood.
Who knows? The balconies are strange too, everyone has encased them, so
no one can see out, and little sunlight can penetrate. I imagine these
old folks in their rooms sitting in darkness the merest crack of sunlight
slipping under the door, listening to Anne Murray and the creaking walls
waiting for the fresh meat to arrive. No wait, that was Delicatessen,
that was a movie, right? Oh my God, I have moved into that
My sister says its all in my imagination, but unhelpfully her kid
Tasha went onto Google and found out that there have been three unexplained
deaths in that block in the last four years (according to the local Gleaner).
But now Im loading the tables and beds I bought and Im wondering,
as the rest of you worry about global war
have I made a terrible
mistake? Is there some demented senior stalking the corridors in this
building, his or her pockets filled with grenades from the live
ammo box, hoping to take us all with him to the grave or scared
Saddam is going to move in next door? People get crazy like that. They
(The neighbour where I am now gets up every morning at 5am and revs
his car for an hour before driving off. You just never get used to it.
He does it even in summer. The other neighbour digs his garden all year
around. Grows nothing. Just digs. Across the road they train their dog
to hunt churchgoers. Not well enough it seems, attendance is well up.)
I wanted to move to a quiet place, with fresh sea air, but as I load the
. I kind of wish Id looked around more. If you dont
hear from me again
just dont, whatever you do, rent apartment
406, no matter how cheap the rent looks.
Jan/Feb 2003 bumper issue out now!
Lots of great fiction, amazing travel journals through Latin America and
Laos and comments about the upcoming war and about the way we live now.
Read and pass it on.
PS: In case I forgot to shout it from the rooftops.
Congratulations to Hazel Marshall (one of our former regulars for selling
her novel to Oxford University Press- due out in January 2004. More about
that near the time. Great work Hazel I know it will be a big succcess
© Sam North 2003
Escape to the UK
MANY MOVIES- IT'S AN AVALANCHE OF CULTURE
you seeing at the movies?
REALLY IS A FUN CITY
'The city where everyone gets to live a millionaire lifestyle'
SECTION 9 in the N.Y. Sunday Times
A cornucopia - October
The Kids stay in the picture- August
PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES
Hacks visits the new Museum of Glass in Tacoma- August
Hot Sweats in a Cold
Read at the Anza Club- August
LIFE ON FAST FORWARD - Vancouver
on speed -September
SUPERNOVA NINA & ROAD
SweetSista'Shorts Carousel Theatre- Granville Island
- Off Fringe
ROUNDHOUSE is celebrating
its FIFTH ANNIVERSARY. - September
Arts in the Community is for real -
WE ARE ALL GURUS NOW - September
Time to enrol
Vancouver Film Festival Trade Show report
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