“When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.” — Anais Nin.
M I N I M A L E X P O S U R E – – M A X I M UM I N T E R E S T
Some folks believe that the truth can set you free. Others profess that a lie can keep you going short-term. In this particular case a perfect combination of half-truths and part-time lies helped one woman to cope with her new-found reality.
This is the final installment regarding a mysterious late night stranger whose appearance outside my apartment door at 1:30 a.m. became a cause for concern to me as I started to consider him not only a late night anomaly but also a threat to the building in which I live.
Since the beginning of February of this year his vehicle arrived like clockwork at that late night hour between Thursday and Saturday nights and he silently and stealthily entered the rear entrance of the building and quickly gained entry to a suite on one of the upper level floors.
The fact that he always parked his car on the sidewalk under a street lamp made me leery of his intent on the premises. Was he a drug dealer? A pimp driving one of his working girls home? A man meeting a married woman for an early morning tryst?
Providing photos of the man himself, the make and model of his vehicle and even the licence plate number did nothing to help the onside manager discover this man’s identity.
I suspected that he was taking shelter in one of the vacant units on the third and fourth floor of the building. Checking with the site manager I discovered that the suites in question were empty and had been that way since February. The door locks had been changed and the suites cleaned.
The site manageress visited the third and fourth floor and asked the residents there if they knew the man I had photographed. After showing them the photo they all claimed they did not. After she did that his visits abruptly ended.
She and I independently assumed that a current tenant recognized the stranger and told him to stop those nightly visits or else the police would become involved.
The person’s identity was left hanging in the air and remained a mystery until late last week when I met a woman who used to live on the third floor of the building but whom I assumed had moved away at the beginning of February.
I asked how she and her husband were getting alone. They were to have lived on the fourth floor suite. Their third floor unit was supposedly vacated.
But she told me that she and her husband had separated and that he had left her the end of January.
Apparently she had been a “battered” housewife and social services requested that the main rental office keep her living arrangement there a secret at least for the short-haul.
The stranger was her son who worked an afternoon shift and was providing food, clothing and company for his mother. He lived a few blocks away and parked where he had to ensure his car would not be vandalized.
The woman herself was doing well and she did sport the last remnants of a black eye and broken tooth her husband had inflicted on her.
She told me that she was unsure of her future at this time but was somewhat optimistic.
She had not seen her husband in months and was happy for that.
The mystery was solved without my implicating the police in the affair.
Sometime you have to be a “nosey neighbor” to ensure your fellow tenants are also safe and secure . –gc