up in smoke

I'm not going to lie to you, it's been a tough week.

Since September, the apartment below us has been empty. If you're a renter, you can imagine how nice it was to not be disturbed by (or disturb) the downstairs neighbours. But we also had a bit of trepidation over who would move in. Would it be partying college kids? A professional couple? Your standard Mile End hipster crew? Or my worst nightmare - a smoker? We kind of laughed that last one off, because who smokes inside their apartment anymore?? It seemed like a slim possibility.

Let me just say - I have nothing against smokers, but I live in an old building where I've traded  structural integrity for character. There is just no stopping the smell of smoke from entering your living space when smokers are around, and it's invasive and - let's face it - toxic.

Imagine my delight and surprise late Saturday night, upon returning from the PDC Cabane, when we discovered that the apartment downstairs had finally been rented. We were extremely tired, full beyond possibility of rich food, and ready to just pass out for the night.

And then we were hit by a wall of sour smelling smoke.

You see, my friends, we've had not one, not two, but three smokers move into the apartment below us. And they are not casual smokers, my friends. Not even close. And even if they were, with three of them jonesing for a cigarette, you're pretty much guaranteed to have at least one person smoking at all times. Why my landlord didn't foresee this as an issue is beyond me.

I'm devastated, angry and trying to spend as little time as possible in my apartment. The first couple of nights were really bad, and I kept waking up with knots in my stomach, anxious about smoke inhalation. We've since narrowed down the main source of the air pollution to the bathroom and two closets to either side of it, and it's not pleasant. We've been trying to control the smell as much as possible, keeping doors closed and using spray foam and caulking to fill holes, but at the moment, we're only able to enjoy about 1/3 of our living space.

Case in point: this morning I felt like I was showering in a grimy old pool hall. Except that no one was calling me lovey or handing me a stiff drink.

I know this sounds dramatic, but it's been really hard. Our lives have been disrupted, and we're trying to cope with this new (and harsh) reality. I really love my apartment, and didn't want to move anytime soon. We're hopeful that this issue can be resolved, but at this point it looks like we may have to move out of our home, and most likely our neighbourhood as well.

I know that someday this will seem like no big deal, but right now it's taking up all of my mental energy.

The small blessing in all of this: all of my fabrics and products are housed in my new studio space, so they aren't being affected. This is a huge relief, and I'm so thankful for that.

Man, being a renter can really kick you in the ass sometimes...

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Shannon! Our downstairs neighbors smoke pot on their balcony during the summer and the smell always wafts into our apartment. I hate it! (And we were polite and didn't tell our landlord, whereas they had the nerve to tell him that we "walk too loud") So I completely sympathize with you. I hope you find a solution soon!