The Astoria turf wars continue. Charlie, Claire’s landlord, has taken to taping long notes to her mailbox and her front door. He is convinced that she is maliciously dripping gallons of water on the floor of the bathroom, causing the ceiling below to chip and sag. The truth is the plumbing is as creaky as he is, and the shower tiles are spongy with old age. Still, the trembly notes keep appearing.
‘Claire. Please COOPERATE. If you do not understand please CALL ME. The hallway ceiling is RUINED. Please TURN OFF the shower by turning the middle tap when you finish.’
Claire fantasizes about walking out on her deposit, leaving the bathtub overflowing for a whole weekend.
It could be worse. None of Caitríona’s landlords in Bosnia understood the concept of renting. In their minds, they kept full rights to her apartment, leaving her an unwanted houseguest of sorts. She would come home from the grim work of reuniting Srebrenica families with the bodies of their massacred men to find her apartment thick with the smell of mutton fat. Her landlady used to let herself in to cook lunch for the family, perhaps even entertain, while Cait was out.