Once upon a time in a city far, far away, I thought something had died.
There was a foul stench in the halls of our apartment, and having an overactive imagination and no true understanding of the real world despite my claims to the contrary, I immediately assumed it was the sweet smell of death:
As well, something in the building stinks. It’s a high pitched sour smell, vaguely masked by a sharp sweetness. I read too many books, and I’m now assuming that the stench I’m having to live with is actually the sweet smell of death. Something died in another apartment, and the deranged lettuce-and-fruit-salad-dropping individual can’t be bothered to dispose of the body because hey, cleaning stuff up is for losers.
We were also having an issue with someone in the apartment building throwing salad all over the stairs and not cleaning it up, but that is not important to this story.
Time passed, and the smell grew worse. For once, I wasn’t the only person who noticed something amiss, and the landlord was coerced into Doing Something about the increasingly bad smell of death wafting though the halls of our three-storey walkup.
As it turns out, the smell wasn’t death at all:
For the last little while, I’ve been hearing strange noises coming from outside my apartment window. I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping, so when I usually get sick of Bookworm around 3am, I crawl into bed and lie there for an hour or so hearing bangie thumpie whisper noises outside. Tonight, we found out what they were – someone had broken into our utility room/crawl space and was living there. There were porn magazines and water bottles and other assorted things down there. The creepy ass neighbours apparently knew about this, but either did nothing or just watched to see what would happen. Today the police were around, and tomorrow someone is coming to install a dead bolt on the door. This is creepy. My building is no longer a nice place to be, especially with the fragrant stench of human waste that seems to be seeping into the bottom floor of the building. Until I know further, I am blaming everything on the bitch who lives upstairs.
At the time, the “fragrant stench of human waste” was really just a euphemism. Unfortunately, it turned out to be spot on – someone had broken into our utility room in Calgary and built a highly organized nest: one corner for food and water, another strictly for masturbating to the collection of stolen porn, and a third acting as a toilet. THIS was the culprit of the smell in our hallways; actual human waste piling up beneath our building and percolating like some kind of toxic hobo stew. The utility room was cleaned out and deadbolted, and for a while things went back to normal.
Until people started masturbating next to our car, that is.
However, this is not an update about masturbation, or hoboes, or any other fond memories I have of Calgary. No, this is something much, much worse.
The smell is back.
The smell that I now know is not the smell of death at all, but of human waste – shit. Old, decaying shit.
The smell is hovering around our bedroom, just like last time. It’s worse at night, and seems to be strongest in the closet and bathroom. I don’t know where it’s coming from – it could be the suites above or below, or the bathroom we’re connected with next door via plumbing. It’s not our suite – I’ve scrubbed and cleaned and triple-checked everything, and there is nothing but bleach and a cat standing on my back.
Something is wrong somewhere in Sparta, and I can’t find the cause (and it’s not the damn lamp this time). Short of knocking on doors and asking the neighbours if they’re stock piling feces for a rainy day, I’m not sure what to do about it. There’s always incense, I suppose, but there’s only so much Nag Champa I can stand before I start thinking about giving dreadlocks a try. What do I do? Is it time to play Nancy Drew and start looking around for a hidden crawl space?
That’s it, isn’t it – it’s not like I have anything better to do. Time to get a flashlight and a couple of friends named George and Bess and an asexual boyfriend named Ned – let’s solve this mystery! YEAH!
I need a job. It’s been a week, and I’m already trying to solve mysteries.