Hey, Have You Seen My…?
When I first moved into my apartment two years ago, my stepson Elan helped with the move. As my wife and I were unpacking, we noticed that our bed frame was a mess and that some of the slats were broken. At just that very moment, Elan walked in with a futon base. “Hey, I found this sitting outside on the sidewalk,” he said cheerily. “Do you want it?”
So we inherited a new bed that day right out of the blue.
Yesterday was Moving Day again. This time, my other stepson, Jonah, came by with his truck to help with the move. I was on my way to a very charming apartment in a different “quartier” of Montreal, the Snowden neighbourhood. I was looking forward to living there for two reasons: One, I was tired of listening to my student neighbours partying at all hours of the night. This building’s rooms all face an inner court and even if people were just chatting on their balconies at two in the morning, their voices rebounded into my bedroom waking me up. (I also happen to be a notoriously light sleeper.) So, I was, and am, eagerly looking forward to quiet nights and am praying that I won’t be disappointed. Two, I’m ready to explore a different part of town. Living just off of Outremont has been a gas; the walks through the large parks surrounded by giant mature trees has been very enjoyable. Being so close to the bistros and terraces of rue Bernard has been great. Being a five minute bicycle ride from Town of Mount Royal and all the empty streets there is something I have lately enjoyed doing following dinner a great deal.
I know the Snowden neighbourhood quite well but still… Queen Mary Street awaits for strolling, and I anticipate cycling through Hampstead, N.D.G. and Cote-Saint-Luc in future evening rides. Also, although I never thought it would be possible, I’m even closer to work – a six-minute drive instead of a 15-minute one (or tack on a few minutes if I decide to go by bike). No matter how early I wake up, I always seem to be rushing to work each morning so this fact is a big plus.
With Jonah and his girlfriend to help out, we began loading his truck. The first thing to go on was our heavy futon mattress. Jonah stuck it on top of the truck. “No bungee cord?” I asked. “Naa”, he answered, “It’ll stay on.” He made a little face, meaning, but of course!
Oh, all right.
Still, once we were packed up, and Jonah had decided to take a very quiet route to the new place, I occasionally checked the side mirror to make sure the mattress was still there.
Along the way, we got caught up in a conversation and I stopped checking the mirror…
We arrive. Naomi and Laurie are there too, having gone in the other car. We get out. Just a sec… The mattress is not there! Jonah goes, “Oh, no!” I go, “Oh no, the mattress’s gone!”
Jonah, like the fabled soldier in The Charge of the Light Brigade, runs to Naomi’s car and takes off looking for the mattress that is lying on the city road somewhere between my old apartment and my new one. Her car is filled with boxes so finding the mattress is not going to result in him carting it back. There’s nowhere to put it – unless he decides to put in on top of her car, just to fall off again!
We start hauling the boxes and furniture up to the new apartment, with me glancing every once in a while down the street to see if Jonah is coming. Nope!
Eventually, he arrives, sans mattress. Naomi and I don’t say much about it. Our new janitor, Peter, a few years out of Romania (I’ve had great luck in Montreal with either landlords or janitors) says, “I hear that you lost a mattress.”
Everybody knows now.
Soon, after another trip back for more stuff, the apartment will be full of furniture and boxes. I enjoy the fact that Naomi and Laurie are designing my place, placing things in their proper place. I find this cool.
Err, everything’s fine except that we’re now out of a mattress and will have to buy a new one. Someone, somewhere along our route, picked up that mattress without too much delay and they both disappeared from view as fast as you can say bonne nuit.