47

by Nic Olson

Forty-Seven messages translated:

Yes, Hello, my name is _______. I’m calling about that cheap-as-dirt apartment post I saw on Kijiji(jijijiji). I am probably the only one that has called so far, so I’ll assume I can come see your apartment tonight and understand why it is the price it is. Call me back  because I can tell you have nothing better to do, my number is __________. Thanks. Goodbye.

One day, Forty-Seven (47) calls. I answered number one at 10am yesterday, then very soon after realized that our phone was going to be barraged with hungry home-shoppers, waiting to take advantage of any basement apartment under $700. Of forty-seven callers, at least one of them has got to be comfortable/desperate enough/cool enough to want a bedroom with a caving in floor, a kitchen with holes in the wall and duct-tape holding the floor together and a need for a baseball bat in the corner of each room. Right? Because I like it here, but liking it isn’t enough for me to sign a year lease and ruin my life forever. Only one Anglophone called. I understand.

The phone rang all day. I was trying to have an emotional conversation over a plate of potatoes with my current visitor, but there was a constant ringing in my ears and unintelligible French slurring recorded on that one 1990’s answering machine that everyone had, white with blue buttons and single red LED number flashing, possibly from the caring hands of General Electric. And because of my high businessman status (waking up at noon) I have to listen to each recording, while they are being recorded, because I’m expecting a few important business-like calls.

But they can have the apartment, as long as I can have my wood baseball bat from 1920 and my wood desk. The government sent me a substantial payment today, I could put a serious dent in renting a nice place.

I’d rather do something reckless.

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