Thursday, December 27, 2007

55 and 56 x365: The Neighbours

I have lived in many rental places over the years and met many interesting creatures. Like the entire first floor of SiL and my apartment building who did fish Fridays. However, the most interesting of these folks are these two men.

# 55: Bill

Bill lived in the apartment next to ours. He was in his late 50s and lived alone. He was as wide as he was tall and had a personality that filled the room twice that. A retired US army officer, Bill came to Canada to work as an Indian Agent. He travelled the world - once in the army and once just for fun. He had stories about everything and everyone, however, you likely could only believe a third of what he said. He seemed to have a great deal of friends, but he seemed lonely underneath. He loved collecting art pieces which were only beautiful to him and watching Westerns.

When we moved from the apartment, I regretted not being able to see him. And then, out of the blue, I ran into him at the mall. He looked the same. He was wearing the same clothes (although they fit a little tighter) and had the same jokes and stories. He left saying he hoped we would run into each other again, but I have a feeling he didn't know my name. Just that I was one of his "friends".

#56: Chris

Chris lived a few doors down when the SiL and I rented a little house near downtown. He stood outside most of the time - summer or winter - to smoke. It was a few weeks before we realized what he was smoking.

He said he spent most of his life doing odd jobs. His van was also his workshop and the stickers plastered all over it showed all the places he had been. He had no teeth (he was on EI and had no coverage) and looked a lot like a fallen hippy Santa.

He was very kind and loved my dog. He cried when I told him we had to put her down.


  1. I loved Chris. Chris Kringle right?

  2. Yup, that's the one. I haven't seen him since we moved. I ran into Bill at the mall the other day. He said to say hi.


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