Tom Leykis read a very sad story on his show. It made me go into my own memory lane, and I am sharing it with you here. I decided to use the same title from his show.
When I was living in Toronto in a high rise building, my next door neighbors were very strange couple. They were from Prince Edward Island. He worked in Starbucks, and she was a stay home wife on welfare. They were in their 30s, and 40s.
One day I was off work, and I decided to clean my apartment, and throwing some stuff out so I was coming in and out of the hallway. I saw a very old lady holding a cane, and standing in front of my neighbor’s door with barely a strength to knock on the door. In her weak voice she was calling his name. “Honey, this is your mother. Please open up.” Poor lady stood there for about 15 minutes.
Eventually, I offered her to wait for him in my apartment. I wrote on a piece of paper, and tapped it on his door.
I came back to my apartment, gave her a glass of water, went to kitchen to make some tea.
After the tea, I went to throw more things, and I noticed that message on the door was gone.
I knocked on the door, and his wife finally opened the door. She was in her mid-40, older than her husband, she had purple Mohawk style hair, “I’m Canadian” swinging bottom of her nose, a pin in the middle of her tongue, and cockroach earrings swinging side to side.
Her face was tanned to point that it looks like an overcooked meat. She had small breast, yet they reminded me of an old squeeze lemon, and frail just like her clothes. She was wearing a dirty smelly shirt that also covered her bottoms, it had ketchup spots on it, and pieces of potatoes stuck to it, and yet it barely covered her prison tattoos.
Any skin area of her body not covered with art work, was very pale white. It is as if her face went to the beach, and her body went to a morgue. To wet your appetite, she had a very high pitch rural accent – imagine Fran Drescher character in Nanny on crack.
Very rudely, she asked me what do I want. I asked her if her husband was at home, I could see him mopping the floor. “No, he is not, what do you want!”. Hearing her response, he skidded into kitchen.
I simply yelled, “when you finish mopping the floor, come and talk to your mom, she traveled 80 miles to see you.”
When I came in the old lady was looking at me with disbelieve in her eyes.
Our tacit communication felt like eveyons.
She was sad, frustrated, and very much out of place as if she did not want to be here. She looked around my apartment, and she saw midsize aquarium, dozen fishes swimming, underwater grass where tiny African frogs were jumping up and down, and shrimps coming in and out of a skunked ship right next to a bubble lava lamp. It cheered her up.
Somehow talking to me, and looking at my hobbies made her relax. Slowly she started talking about her life. I learned that few weeks ago; she lost her husband, and two kids in a car accident. Her last son, my next door neighbor is the only child she had. She had been trying to contact him ever since, leaving him voicemails, asked her neighbor to send him text messages, and even regular mail post about the tragedy befallen on their family. When all attempt failed, she decided to travel to see him.
A brief info about her last son. He was studying in high school, average marks, but doing okay. Met his current wife, his very first girlfriend, who just came out of the prison. Few months into a relationship she told him that he is going to be a dad, and forced him dropped out of school, and then bullied him to migrate in a big city to “man up” for his family.
Once they were in Toronto. They got married in court, later he learned that she had a “false pregnancy”. She claimed that due to her criminal record she couldn’t find any work. She was applying for disability since her welfare scam was running out. He decided to get a job in a coffee shop, and that’s how they had been living for past 15 years.
Poor lady waited in my apartment for five hours. He finally knocked on my door. She went with him, few minutes later she knocked back on my door with tears in eyes asking me to take her to the airport. I told her to stay in my apartment – she broke in tears, blessing me and such. I booked an early flight for her for the next day, and also drove her to the airport.
As a doctor, many time I had to tell the family when patient died, this was the first time I had tear in my eyes when I hugged her goodbye. I won’t lie to you, if he ever come on my operating table, I won’t be saving his pathetic life.
Seeing his cowardly behavior embolden her even further. Every evening, I could hear her screaming at him, her voice was slurring, and she was throwing things on the floors. He was pleading her, “sorry, won’t happen again”. Pretending, I didn’t hear anything I would go in my apartment, and relax.
Anyway, these episodes became more frequent to the point that numerous times residence below his apartment started calling the police. One night police were standing in front of his door, and she was standing right next to her husband. Telling the cops that “he had too much to drink, and he got excited, he is very sorry” pause “right honey?!”.
He was stammering “yes, officer, I am very sorry”.
Countless time she called cops on him for domestic violence. He would always come back to her, and take the abuse.
Luckily, very soon I bought my own condo, and I didn’t have to live near these trailer trash.