Sometimes those things happen in your apartment and you’re like, “Well, that’s future Tim’s problem.” Like when someone decided to install a
spice rack tenuously perched shelf of spices above the stove, leading to an almost weekly incidence of fumbling something that drops down into the inky abyss between stove and wall, not to mention all the spills thrills and chills that come with the kind of extreme, splatter-prone cooking we practice. But then! All the rodents of Brooklyn decide to gentrify your apartment at once and suddenly Future Tim is Present Tim and you’ve got to clean it all out to try to cut down these cheap eats so attractive to critters. And so, we excavate.
This photo is, if I had to guess, at least 10 years worth of untended gunk, detritus, dust, utensils, mouse droppings, grease, soy chorizo and other flotsam and jetsam of Brooklyn life found under our stove last night.
This kind of thing is, I reckon, a particular city trait, where apartments change hands by generations more than they do by leases, and a problem you discover today might have been caused by some great-great-great-grandroommate who probably had an .msn email address at the time. We cleaned it and are working on patching the entrance to the mouse brownstone in the wall behind it. And we moved the spices a long time ago.
We’ve found lots of other things in our apartment like this: mysterious holes in the walls, water-logged encyclopedias, a gigantic non-working amp, and, like, 30 dirty rags inexplicably attached to a board that we later learned was actually a piece of “art” by a former tenant, all of these cackling with echoes of laughter from apartment dwellers past. There’s no accountability to this: as a trade off for having the kind of large loft space, bohemian vibe and quirky character chiseled out over generations of Brooklynites, we are stuck with the broken vestiges of past lives, good bad or otherwise.
Anyway, out of curiosity, what’s the grossest thing you’ve found in your apartment that none of your current roommates are responsible for? Best answer wins a hot tub time machine to go back and tell off your Past Self.
Follow Tim past, future and present: @timdonnelly.