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Here you will find random bits of me

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

tales to tell: the court street apartment

around 1987 i moved into an old building on court street in auburn, maine, which used to house the radio station wcou, which happened to be the former call letters of the radio station i was currently working for: wxgl.

to bring the radio thing full circle, the building was owned by the sports announcer (george somebodyorantother) for wlam/kiss 100, another radio station i used to work for.

when i first moved in, the building was empty.

the first floor – all retail/business space – was unoccupied, as well as the other 2 floors, which were apartments.

my apartment was on the top floor in the rear of the building and had no view. at the time, isolation suited me just fine.

it was a strange little pad!

since the business spaces on the first floor were deserted, the front door was always locked. and there was no doorbell.

the only way i could receive guest, or anything else for that matter, was for them to come up the rickety, unlighted staircase on the rear of the building. as i remember: you also had to bushwhack through the neighbor’s yard to get to the stairs.

at some point in my residency wxgl hired a night dj from virginia by the name of bob wells.

well, since he needed a place to live, i contacted george somebodyorantother on bob’s behalf and george rented the front, 3rd floor to bob.

bob had a view of the bank and maybe some of the park near the (middle) bridge that connects auburn with lewiston.

a peculiarity of maine apartments is: they sometimes have windows that led to hallways. i guess it was a way to air out the place on those humid maine summers.

instead of the apartments being mirrored images of each other, bob’s bathroom was right on the other side of the wall from by bedroom. so, whenever bob took a shower, i could hear the water beating against the wall behind my bed.

would bob vila have approved of such a design?

at this point in my radio career i had graduated beyond working 6 days a week to working just monday through friday with remotes (spelled “talent pay”) on the weekends.

bob had not reached that lofty position and was, besides his 6 to midnight shift, working sunday mornings from 6 to noon.

on sunday morning, as per usual, i could hear bob in the shower somewhere around 0515 hours before leaving for work and drifted back to sleep.

after a period of time, i awoke once again to the sound of bob leaving his apartment and passing under the window that led to the hallway as he walked/stumbled (bob was anything but graceful) down the stairs.

eventually, i drifted back to sleep.

until, i was awakened by the sound of water running in bob’s apartment. since the shower was right behind my bed i could, not only hear him in the shower, but also hear whenever he was using water.

i listened for a moment to determine if i was hearing things.

i was!

not only did i hear water running, i also heard footsteps in the apartment.

“somebody’s in the building!” i thought.

i sat up on the side of the bed, reached out to the wall switch next to the bed to turn on the bathroom light and the light didn’t come on.

this added a little bit to the panic i was already feeling over the intruder/s in bob’s place.

i stood up, walked to the center of the room, grabbed the cord for the ceiling light and it didn’t come on either.

i reached for my pants and i awoke still in my bed.

it was a just a dream.

but, as i began to relax so i could fall back to sleep, i noticed that the water was running in bob’s apartment and there was somebody walking around in there.

i sat up, reached out to the bathroom light switch and it failed to glow.

deja vu all over again!

i stood up, walked to the center of the room, grabbed the string falling from the switch on the ceiling light and it too failed to burn.

now i was really in a panic!

i opened my bedroom door to let in a little light, since the only window in the bedroom led to the hallway, so i could get dressed; there was no way i was going to hang around while i’m having a de javu of a robbery.

i grabbed up a pair of jeans, shirt, socks, and my ll bean hunting boots and headed for the couch to get dressed.

my daughter, nicole, had spent friday night with me and some of here bedding was still on the couch, draped over the arm, and hanging onto the floor.

after pulling up my pants, i sat down next to her pillow and began to slip on a boot when i looked down and noticed that the blanket was moving around, like a cat was underneath it, trying to get out.

instead of slipping on the boot, i swung it onto the moving mass and i awoke, once again in my bed.

i instantly sat up, flipped on the bathroom light switch and the light came on.

i stood up, walked to the center of the room, tugged on the string for the ceiling light and, it too, came on!

just to make sure i wasn’t still dreaming, i walked into the living room to see if nicole’s blanket was still writhing on the floor.

it wasn’t even there!

bob’s apartment was quiet as can be: no water; no footsteps.

well, by this time i was wide-awake and i don’t think i could have gone back to sleep if i had been sedated.

let’s recap:

i was dreaming that i was dreaming!

i grabbed my clothing, put on my ll bean hunting boots and walked up to mac’s variety for breakfast.

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