Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mystery Tenant

We've moved into our apartment and while mostly clean, tucked in the corners here and there were remants of the last tenant. It's been really fascinating trying to piece together her life story. Over dinner with Beth's family last night, it was suggested that this is the kind of thing that's given as an assignment in a writing class. So here's what we have

On the inside door handle of the front door there was a tiffany's bag with a small box that was empty. There was a receipt from a Hong Kong store for about ~$350. Lots of questions there... Why was it on the door? Why Hong Kong? Why empty?

Bank and credit card statements - really overdrawn, by a couple tousand dollars. A couple nasty notes from lawyers

Eviction notices, overdue 2 months of rent.

A sweatshirt from Bond University, relatively small, not too small.

A business card with someone of the same last name (family member?), working in Queensland.

Various unmentionables hinting at an active love life. Empty bottles of wine and Kahlua.

A computer bag with a logo from a 2000 conference of international securities regulatory agencies (i.e. international finance).

A high end digital bathroom scale. When I weighed myself on the carpet, I was faint with delight... but then when I weighed myself on the bathroom tile I was brought back to reality a bit. I'm thinking of just switching over to kilograms.

"Final notice" in the mail for unpaid parking tickets.

Lots of great cleaning supplies like a $300 vacuum cleaner, windex, etc. Vacuum was completely jammed with hair.

A large litter box (used) and a small halter leash. Hard to say if it was a cat or dog. A pet brush with lots of light long brown hair.

And here's the coup... A packet of developed film, with many pictures of a 20-30-something year old woman, which we're going to assume is her. There's a similar age guy in the same picture. We heard she lived alone, but we suspect that's the love interest. The film has a contact sheet showing some of the missing photos, most of which look like some kind of church baptism. Christine says that the pictures have a look of someone who has been out clubbing a bit too late... for a couple years. I'm not really one to judge.

So yeah, the mind reels filling in the details. Some googling has turned up some more details about her, but I suspect we're bordering on invasion of privacy (her job looks quite respectable). A fascinating life though... It all reminds me a bit of the really interesting story of the found memory card in Alaska .

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me, in a sordid way, of one of my favorite poems. Having stood on both sides of the equation so many times... looking forward, looking back.

    Autumn Perspective

    Now, moving in, cartons on the floor,
    the radio playing to bare walls,
    picture hooks left stranded
    in the unsoiled squares where paintings were,
    and something reminding us
    this is like all other moving days;
    finding the dirty ends of someone else's life,
    hair fallen in the sink, a peach pit,
    and burned-out matches in the corner;
    things not preserved, yet never swept away
    like fragments of disturbing dreams
    we stumble on all day. . .
    in ordering our lives, we will discard them,
    scrub clean the floorboards of this our home
    lest refuse from the lives we did not lead
    become, in some strange, frightening way, our own.
    And we have plans that will not tolerate
    our fears-- a year laid out like rooms
    in a new house--the dusty wine glasses
    rinsed off, the vases filled, and bookshelves
    sagging with heavy winter books.
    Seeing the room always as it will be,
    we are content to dust and wait.
    We will return here from the dark and silent
    streets, arms full of books and food,
    anxious as we always are in winter,
    and looking for the Good Life we have made.

    I see myself then: tense, solemn,
    in high-heeled shoes that pinch,
    not basking in the light of goals fulfilled,
    but looking back to now and seeing
    a lazy, sunburned, sandaled girl
    in a bare room, full of promise
    and feeling envious.

    Now we plan, postponing, pushing our lives forward
    into the future--as if, when the room
    contains us and all our treasured junk
    we will have filled whatever gap it is
    that makes us wander, discontented
    from ourselves.

    The room will not change:
    a rug, or armchair, or new coat of paint
    won't make much difference;
    our eyes are fickle
    but we remain the same beneath our suntans,
    pale, frightened,
    dreaming ourselves backward and forward in time,
    dreaming our dreaming selves.

    I look forward and see myself looking back.

    Erica Jong