Friday, 15 March 2013


I posted earlier about the room I rented while I attended a nearby high school. It served me well for the time I had it. By the end of 1978, I became fed up with its limitations. Not only had I accumulated possessions that didn't quite fit the limited space I had but a new group of neighbours moved in. They were extremely noisy, so much so that all the other tenants joined me in complaining about them. Those people were evicted promptly. Though the new landlord pleaded with me to stay, I refused to remain and risk another noisy crowd living above me.

With the help of a few CB friends and a pickup truck, I moved into a place called The Shamrock Apartments. At first, I enjoyed having my own bathroom, fridge, and sink. The suite also had more closet space. I didn't have to use a space heater to keep it warm either since it had a radiator next to the bed. Even better, the laundry room had coin washers and dryers. I didn't need to pack my dirty clothes in a suitcase and walk a few blocks to the laundromat.

Buyer's remorse set in a few weeks later. Being a security guard, I needed to sleep during the day. Even with earplugs, I still heard the noisy pipes as they rattled when my upstairs neighbour turned on the tap. He also had the irritating habit of stomping his feet when he got excited. When I complained to Dave, the apartment manager, nothing was done.

A year later, the building had a plumbing problem. The upstairs neighbour's toilet often overflowed, drenching my clothes with filthy water. My toilet also backed up. I had to run a fan by it to dry out the rug.

Then the building was invaded by brown bugs about the size and shape of short-grained rice. They got into everything, including my food. I felt so embarrassed one morning when friends came over and the bugs had ended up in my sugar bowl. They had to pour their cups of coffee down the kitchen sink drain because of those insects.

Fights often erupted in the hallways and stairwells. I frequently returned home on Sunday mornings to find broken glass and blood on the carpet and walls. My next door neighbour also beat his wife so badly one morning that I had to call the police. In fact, they came around fairly often, enquiring about former tenants of my suite. Sadly, they didn't help me when my room was broken into and the next month's rent money was stolen.

One night, one of the tenants was murdered. That was the last straw for me. Though Dave, the manager, pleaded with me to stay, saying I was his best tenant, I could stand the place no more.

That was the last furnished room I lived in. When the building was torn down to make way for a parking lot, I felt glad. It had been a dive for many years and an eyesore as well.

Though I didn't mention that apartment building by name in my How I Was Razed memoir, I wrote about events in my life that happened while I lived there. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version of my journey from cultism to Christianity and Virtual Bookworm sells the paperback edition.

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