Pyromania is an impulse control disorder in which an individual repeatedly fails to resist the desire to deliberately start fires, in order to relieve tension and gain instant gratification. Setting fires induces euphoria in a pyromaniac who may tend to fixate on institutions of fire control like fire houses and firefighters.
January 2020 -The siren rang while I was sleeping; admittedly, I recently taped over the alarm inside my door to tame down the tone which was deafening, but I still hear it. We residents have become resistant when it comes to the threat; there have been many false alerts these past few years. However, when I heard over the intercom firefighters were battling a blaze on an 8th floor balcony and that we should all stay in place until further notice, I was concerned. That’s my floor! Certainly it is the work of the man who lives upstairs somewhere above my friend’s apartment at the end of the hall! It’s not the first time that balcony has been lite by flames dropped from overhead and we think it was the resident pyromaniac himself who knocked on Norm’s door late one night last year to say that he’d been looking down and noticed my friend’s fake tree was on fire. Just a small flame and extinguished without professional aid, but later, upon investigation, we found a piece of charred paper in the plant container. Not simply an accidental incident caused by a tossed cigarette butt, but a deliberate deed. Difficult to pinpoint, the culprit is quick and elusive, dropping off his firebombs before ducking back under the cover of his balcony and no-one is quite sure which floor he’s on but several have seen him at work and the superintendent has been informed more than once. His response to me was to put it in writing, so that’s what I am doing, but if the whole place goes down in a blazing glory, how will he feel and who would be to blame? Our lives are at stake! Continue reading “Fire on the Balcony!”
Yesterday, I thought of Delores who lives on the 18th floor and decided to wrap her a Christmas present because I was sure she had not received a one! I re-used some Grinch paper from a frantic hour of opening; the environment as it is, I can’t bare to trash it all and intend to encourage my granddaughter to use it in some sort of creative way next time she visits. The re-gifts to my friend, who lives alone in Toronto Housing as do I and is a decade older and always telling me how cold she feels in her apartment, consisted of a pair of warm woman’s socks purchased at The Dollar Store, and a fleece throw some nice guy gave Streetgirl on Boxing Day (also re-gifting), and, finally, a long grey open style sweater passed to me by my hostess Peggy as she unloaded her crammed closet on Christmas day upon Cathy and I. Meantime, Keeba played like a pup with her new found friend Murphy who was three and happy as could be to have a guest; Sara the Sheppard chilled on the couch and we all eagerly awaited host Brian’s delicious holiday dinner,
Back to my neighbor Delores! When I knocked upon her door last night, bearing gifts, my goodness wasn’t she just thrilled to the point of tears. The sweater fit perfect and the soft white shawl wrapped around black shoulders brought out an angelic smile and warmed her heart. We hugged and kissed over and over and she cried with happiness someone had thought of her. I left feeling blessed for the moment! That is the true joy of giving!
“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor,” Proverbs 22.9
Many thanks to the nice guy who passed Streetgirl a huge container packed with delicious homemade cabbage rolls yesterday afternoon. Not quite enough to feed an army, but plenty for sharing with three hungry neighbors!
Seeking solace and a blessed place to say her prayers, Streetgirl flew her sign yesterday, straddling the curb and strolling up and down the island. Those same paths that her panning peer, so-tagged The Veteran, had ambled thousands of times. It was chilly, but they’d been out in far worse weather and enjoyed it too; a freedom of sorts. If it was Joe he would be wearing a toque, thin shirt under a jacket year-round day and night, and sandals without socks; even though someone had given him a pair of boots two months before his passing. Thrilled to tell the tale, how he’d been snoozing in the sun behind the gas station when a guy came by and offered to take him to Canadian Tire to buy a winter coat and footwear. One of so many kind gestures afforded him by strangers. That night they dumped his dirty smelly old one down the garbage shoot in our building as a ceremonial gesture and he donned the gift until the day he died. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: Farewell Friend”
“Cause you’re the joke of the neighborhood…Why should you care if you’re feeling good…Take the long way home,” SUPERTRAMP. (1ST concert Mother went to in the summer of 1979, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa.)
I feel sort of sorry for some People. Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Take the Long Way Home!”
Thought they were not going to, but finally my small sunflowers are opening!
“Oh well! I was at home sleeping in my bed,” said the TCHC Special Constable who has been assigned part-time to monitor and protect our building, tenants and property, due to a recent upsurge in gun and gang activity city-wide which has prompted media coverage, political posturing, and a demand for solutions to the problem which appears to be radiating from community housing corridors. Continue reading “TCHC: Quote of week”
Apparently the dramatic take-down in our neighborhood began over an hour ago, but we only got a view of the tail end (no witnesses here). Snapped a quick picture before retreating into the safety of home. It’s pretty much over now and the canine cops are back in the back of the handler’s car. Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Dog’s on Duty”
(Warning: The following contains disturbing details and graphic imagery.)
Defeated, she sits on the edge of the bed belonging to a fragile senior resident whom she has known for years, has harbored her before, and shares some of the same habits. After a three week crack binge, which I doubt is yet over, she is famished and for the privilege of making and eating four grill cheese sandwiches in a flash is massaging that woman’s sore feet and shoulders. Anything to ensure she doesn’t get thrown out again. Far from her home across the city, without money and in no condition to bargain, she knows no-one else will open the door for her tonight. Running amok for days, several violent outbursts against people and property have angered and alienated her peers, so she is lucky to have this temporary sanctuary. Continue reading “Quotes from The Crack Game* – “It was so hard.””
October 2017: There is a row of shrubs growing along the back fence, Forsythia, named after Scottish botanist William Forsyth (1737-1804). Continue reading “Turn on the Heat”