Not so very far away from the Still A Car Wash car wash in my neighborhood, is a plaza that used to play home to a good video store, grocery store and several other useful places to stop and spend time in. Lately, things have gone decidedly downscale.
The grocery store closed, unable to compete with a big box grocery store that opened a few blocks away, and is now a Dollarama where you can affordably meet all your cheap plastic item needs.
The independent video store is now, gasp, a Christian Bookroom. Although the sign says OPEN, brown paper remains in place on the windows. Either pedophile priests are being brought to justice inside or there's nun on nun action available in the back room. I'm too scared to investigate.
The only fun the plaza now holds is that my dentist is still there to welcome me and Coffee Time, recently voted most unhygienic coffee shop chain in the Greater Toronto Area, is still packing them in.
Closer to home, my neighbors have proven to be even more fun than usual. Like many, my policy has long been Just Say No To Neighbors. The woman who looks like a hooker with a tarnished heart of gold and two young men, possibly her sons, have recently become the proud owner of a contraption that looks like an old fashioned round barbecue on legs they find more suited to building fires in each evening. They sit around drinking and laughing into the wee hours with their friends. It could be worse, they could be friendly. I avoid eye contact.
The only respite from this activity was a few nights ago when the hooker's boyfriend dropped by. She and this guy who looks about 60 sat by the fire in their plastic white moulded chairs necking like teenagers. They went at it for a good couple of hours and I know this because I wanted to go out onto the deck and practice my dancing, but each time I tried, there they were, still locked on to one another. If only they had been younger and hotter, I could maybe get involved, but as it goes, these two are probably beyond even their own fantasy material.
Last night around 2 a.m., I awoke to a sound I couldn't immediately identify. It took me some time to realize that it was the sound of a hand saw cutting wood to put on the fire. I closed the window and went to bed praying for the first time in a long time, that the old guy who lives on the other side of me lives forever. At least the old fucker's quiet.