Yesterday there was an ad in the paper about an open house for a new condo, and we went and gave it a look-over. Someone had bought a three-decker Victorian close to downtown and converted it to condos. The one we saw was a one-bedroom, a little too small for us. We also got a sneak peek at a bigger two-bedroom unit still in the construction phase.
The one bedroom was nice. It had all the usual amenities, the granite counters, all the energy–rated appliances, the shiny freshly urethaned floors, the weatherized porch morphed into an attractive office, and probably a high-efficiency Buderus boiler in the cellar with forced hot water. Everything you would want. It’s not a big secret that Kirby and Stone have been thinking about downsizing and buying a condominium in the downtown area. All last year I looked around this old house saying to myself, geez, can I keep this old monolith together much longer?
Perfection is okay, but it leaves the old man with little to do besides gather dust, take his meds and work on his crossword puzzles. There’s nothing to fix. I remember, as if it was yesterday, a private duty case I had looking after this old doctor and his wife living in one of these new planned retirement communities. Everything was perfect up there too, tons of skylights, -all everything kitchens, and an unearthly quiet that was only broken every Friday when the guys and their big machines mowed the lawns and trimmed the bushes. And that couple, once life-sized, sat there like shrunken mummies, lost in the vastness, he just home from the hospital. And they had little to say to each other that wasn’t solicitous and polite when the help was around, but I sensed a certain glacial tension in the air. Let me out of here, I said to myself.
All that granite is nice, but what good is a showpiece when you’ve left behind all the people you know to live in it? It’s just a reservation for old people instead of indians. The memories that I get from looking at our Formica counter that stepson David and I wedged into place nearly twenty years ago are nicer. And where is the place for the garden? Where do we hang up the laundry? Who are the people that live in this new shiny upscale street now? Will there be any gossip worth hearing?
So we have our doubts. More thoughts about this later.
Late-breaking News: Straw poll at Kevin’s predicts Bardsley by two votes
I was in Kevin’s haircutting shop the other morning and he asked me who was going to win the Mayoral contest. “Dunno,” I said, “I’m afraid she’s going to squeak back in yet one more time. “
“The Hell you say,” came the growl from one barber chair, “Never if I can help it.” said the other customer.
So there you are. A squeaker, friends. Bardsley by two votes. I remember I won my second contest for city councilor by four votes.