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Nothing To Complain About

May 18, 2011

(I reserve the right to change the lame title of this post)

I live in a pretty nice condo in the heart of Toronto. It is a newly built building and they did a good job so nothing is in a huge state of disrepair, and I cannot hear the conversations or music in the units above, beside, or below me. The people who live in the building are alright as well; mostly young professionals and some students who were blessed with parents who would buy/rent a place for them while they study and party. There is a surprising lack of babies and old folks in the building as well, which means I am rarely obligated to help someone to their unit with their grocery bags or make goo goo faces at a miniature monster while the mother smiles benevolently, looking down at her baby. I fucking hate those benevolent smiles.

I hate those I-am-at-peace, my-baby-is-a-miracle, all-is-right-with-the-world smiles almost as much as I hate odd smells. And odd smells are the one of the things this unit is not immune too. It’s not like I spend my days smelling the contents of other people’s units, but every once in a while an odd scent will waft in.  It is because of fire codes, we cannot seal off our front doors completely so occasional gusts of air from the hallway will come in under the door. I can handle any smells that I can identify; Indian food, lemon pledge, flowers, etc. Today, though, a guy in the hallway (I assume it was a guy) wore so much cologne, I caught a whiff of it sitting on my sofa. How much cologne does a person have to be wearing for that to happen? This particular cologne repulsed me; it smelled so horrible that I could not compare it to any other horrible scent or combination of scents I had ever smelled. I simply inhaled the indescribable fragrance and it cut straight into my brain giving me an instant, acute headache.

I mentioned the walls do a very good job of keeping people’s private lives private but there is that little gap between the bottom of the door and the door frame – the one that allows the smells in. It also allows me to hear whatever is going on in the hallway, which is never very much. It seems like my boyfriend and I are the only ones who take our conversations with us when we walk to the elevator. This of course means we are the weird ones, the entertainment providers. Sigh.

I guess what I am getting at is that my condo building is boring. With the exception of the occasional whiff of an unidentifiable scent (which I have already established as gross) and the girl who can’t cook so her fire alarm goes off every day at the same time (at which point she opens her door despite several written warnings from management telling her not to do this), there is nothing going on.  Gone are the days when I know my neighbours are breaking up long before the moving truck arrives. Never more will I memorise whatever rap lyrics the guy across the hall plays incessantly. There are not even any fights about garbage cans or parking here. If a pizza box gets jammed in the chute, someone will call the concierge. And the concierge will fix it without yelling at you to cut up a pizza box. If someone parks in your spot, you call the parking enforcement and they will tow the offending vehicle. At $25,000 per parking spot, there are no hard feelings; everyone knows better than to expect not to be towed.

I should get out more. And I don’t mean taking my writing to the Second Cup in my building or the Starbucks down the street. Maybe I should take my laptop to some of my old neighbourhoods, go sit in a Coffee Time for a while. Then again, in the three weeks I have had this laptop, I have grown quite attached. It would be a shame if it were stolen from me. And I would have to pack a lunch. Maybe I will just watch someTV and think on this a little more.

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