Jewish Journal


Dead Lady’s Apartment

by Elliot Steingart

March 8, 2013 | 3:59 pm

Boxing up memories

I am moving down the hall into the apartment of a 91 year old woman who recently passed away. I am sad she died, but it was for a good cause. 

My landlord told me she lived in the unit for 30 years.

"She had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital,” my landlord told me.

“Oh,” I said. “I’m sorry to hear that. I used to see her in the hall.”

I would hold the door open for her and she would glare at me.  One time a Mercedes filled with old ladies dropped her off. She looked happy as she waved goodbye. When she saw me she made a face because I took too long to find my key to open the door.

“Yes, life happens,” said my landlord. “What can ya do?”

What could I do, but ask about a dishwasher.

“Yes, all new appliances,” she said.

She was not ready to show me the unit because her family needed time to clear out her belongings. I know it was hard for my mom and my aunt to clear out my grandma’s apartment after she died. It was nice of management to allow the extra time. More time for them to clean.

I haven’t told the guy  who lives next door that I am moving in. I saw him in the elevator on New Year’s Eve bundled up in warm clothes.

“What do you have planned for the big night?” I asked holding my girlfriend’s hand.

“I’m going to the beach and taking some time to reflect.”

I still don't know what to say to him. I'll think of something once I move in. With my neighbors, I usually go with "shhh."

Moving into a one bedroom will make a difference in my relationship. A studio apartment gets hard for us. When we get in a fight there are barely enough doors to slam.

It's a little weird for me to know the person who lived there probably died there. I guess you have to die somewhere.  It's also weird someone will move into my apartment. Yes, it's small, but it's a good unit with lots of nice memories over the past year--the time my mom wanted to know why I was hanging mirrors over my bed, the time the mirror almost fell on my mom, etc.

Though it would be fun to see how the next tenant redecorates  my old place, I'm not going to be the guy who knocks on the door, like a cocky sophomore visiting his freshman dorm. Let's hope the same goes for the dead lady. May her spirit rid itself quickly. Spirit Clear.

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Elliot Steingart is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer who hosts a monthly comedy show, “Melgard Mondays” at Melgard Public House. Steingart has written jokes for...

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