There are some curious goings on in the garages at the back of my flat.
I like to keep an eye on what goes on in my block of flats. I have told you about the wheelie-suitcase-wielding spinster who lives in the flat beneath me. I think I also told you about the sexy guy who helped me carry the buggy down the stairs and then, just as I my teenage crush was beginning to blossom, he moved out.
Behind my block of flats there is a large and quite unattractive courtyard surrounded by fifteen garages. Our flats don’t come with a garage, the garages are owned by a company and rented out individually for about £40 (about $50) a month. This means that those who rent the garages rarely live in my block of flats.
Last week, Cygnet and I were kicking a ball around the courtyard. One of the garage doors was partly raised open. Through the crack escaped a small occasional puff of smoke. It smelled like cigarette smoke. I made our football goal at the other end of the courtyard.
After about half an hour, the garage door was raised from the inside. Cygnet and I both turned to watch as a man, exited the garage, walked to our rubbish bins, lifted the lid of large communal recycling bin and fished out a supplement from The Sunday Times. He turned, nodded at Cygnet and me as we looked on at him, and returned to his garage and lowered the door. The smoke puffs recommenced.
I’d guess the man was in his sixties. He was skinny. His hair was grey and quite long. His face was wrinkled. His trousers were browny grey, his jumper the same. He wore a shirt underneath his jumper. He had a kind face. He made eye contact when he nodded at us, but he didn’t linger.
Inside his garage was a red and white striped deck chair. It was assembled in the middle of his garage. A packet of cigarettes rested on one of the arms of the deckchair, an ashtray sat on the other arm. At the foot of the deckchair was a sea of newspaper. There were a couple of boxes at the back of the garage, but otherwise the garage was empty.
We haven’t seen him since.
We all need a refuge, a place to escape to, every once in a while. And at £40 a month the garages at the back of mine are as cheap as chips!
*definitely not a collaborative post with the company that rents out the garages at the back of my block of flats.