We were on the waiting list for almost six months before we got our new apartment. The realtor kept talking about the list as a positive, like the building is superior because it has a list.
It could be that it’s small or that people ask to live here for the sake of being on a waiting list, as though a building you can waltz right into simply isn’t as cool.
The building is actually quite cool, though, with lots of brick and odd corners. The kind of building you’d be wary of playing hide-and-seek in because you might never be found.
Technically I don’t think I was supposed to be in the fenced-off part near the back gardens where I found the tangle of pipes and meters that would have been practically invisible against the brick in the shadows but I happened to be there when the sun was falling just right to see them clearly.
At first I thought it was some sort of plumbing or heating thing, the meters were labeled so I found the one for our apartment and the display said Moderate Contentment – Acclimating with the little arrow pointing towards the top.
I checked a few of the others and they said things like Mild Annoyance – Passing and High Contentment – Maintaining.
I asked the building manager about them and he called it a “Monitoring System.”
He just smiled at me when I asked if he ever needs to make adjustments.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.