Hello Neighbour, Goodbye.

This week I’ve been besieged by work. I work from home of course so my home has felt under siege as a result, but it’s not just the work that’s made my home feel that way. My neighbours have been invading my space.

It’s an inner city problem that goes with the territory so I shouldn’t complain, but it’s this regular chipping away at the centimeters of elbowroom I’ve paid an immoral premium for that just gets to you over time.

For example, this week my new neighbour from across the street mistakenly took my wheelie bin after the garbos had been. “Excuse me,” I shrilled from my front deck as she brazenly crab-walked my kidnapped bin inside her lock up garage. “I think that’s my wheelie bin.”

“Oh, that’s OK,” she replied, cheerily. “You can have it. I think we have too many anyway.”

“Yes, that can happen when you steal things,” I thought. I didn’t say it. You can never say it when you live inner city. You just have to think it. Then, you walk back inside, close the door, raise the drawbridge and pretend your neighbours aren’t there until the next rude incursion.

It may have been this altercation over the wheelie bin that also seeded my sleep this week with some pretty vivid dream material. Or maybe I made an astral journey to Japan to look over Yo Shimada’s shoulder while he was deep in a yoga-posed conceptual trance (I imagine that’s how he works). Either way, I have been dreaming of houses, I guess trying to imagine what Shimada san will come up with for my Minimalist Monument to Moi.

Motivated probably by my rising irritation over the regular minor invasions of my neighbours, my subconscious came up with this.

The Trapdoor House

The Trapdoor House

It’s a house with a massive deck that cantilevers out over the slope of my block. From the street you wouldn’t even see the house, just the underside of the deck. But rising up like Jacob’s Ladder I imagined a stairway that disappeared through a trapdoor in the deck. Perfect! I could climb up to my platform, then raise the final set of stairs like the landing gear of a plane, stashing them into the undercarriage of my house to close out the neighbours.  As an added bonus to this thoughtful design I could lose guests who’d outstayed their welcome, directly through the floor, straight down the stairs.

Just stand over here for a second…no a little bit to the left…back a bit…that’s it…goodbye.