Into the Fire

Hello? You are Zoe? Yes, hello. Yes, nice to talk to you. You father call us this morning very early. So, will you come and stay with us. You would like maybe this? Yes, so you stay here. Ok, I spoke with your dad. So, you come. I will be home because I wait for the plumber. The house is very dirty though, so do not mind the mess.  I have no time for cleaning. So busy! All summer I working on apartments, cleaning and fixing and everything.

So we are next suburb from Vancouver. You can catch bus easily I think. The number 135, it comes very near to our house… where you are? Your dad said was backpackers. Where is backpackers? Ok, Granville. Where on Granville you are? You have cross-street? Davies. Ok, you get number 10, I think. Yes, so I think the number 10, it goes to Cooty Loop, so you get off the bus and you catch 135. It goes up Hastings to SFU, the university. You know Hastings? Yes well, it goes up there and then you get off at Granville. Oh, not Granville, no, that is where you are. No. You get off the 135, it goes right near to our house, and you get off there and you find  public phone and you call this number. I can come and get you. We are maybe 2 minutes  from there, so it is easy. You have cell phone? No, ok, you find public phone and you call me and I come and pick you up. Or you catch number 10, catch to Loop, to Cooty Loop, and you find public phone and I will pick you from there. Maybe it is easier for you to catch taxi. It is not expensive, I don’t know how much, maybe 15, 20 dollars? Yes, it is better you catch taxi. The address is 1-9-3-5, yes? 1-9-3-5. And it is College Street. So, will you catch bus or will you take a taxi. I think it is better for cab. Yes, you catch cab. Is easier. I wait for the plumber, so I will see you at home. Tell the driver College St. No, the suburb it is Barnaby but it is not important. The taxi driver, he will know our street. Ok. Ok. Good. Goodbye. You come soon then. I have to go to apartments, I am very busy. But you come. So long you do not mind the dirty house. It is so much mess but I have no time to clean, so you must ignore. Ok? Ok. Good, so I see you soon. Ok. Goodbye.

* * *

Hello! Zoe! Yes, I remember you! You the same. Your hair is darker but you the same. You do not remember me, no? It is long time ago. Yes, so you have your bags. So we go inside. How much is taxi? Ok, so not so much. Good, so we go inside. Yes, so you meet Boris. Is very nice dog, very nice dog. I love him. So you have met my baby. And this is Donald, he does work for me. I give him very hard job today, but he is good worker. He does very good work for me. Donald, this is Zoe. Oh, is broken? OK, later I will go to Home Depot and I get you new shovel to break.

So, Zoe, we go inside. It is very much mess, please, I will clean. We have very nice guest room – here, you see – but I have furnished appartment and new tenents they want unfurnished, so I had to bring all the stuff and I dump it in here. So you cannot sleep in this room. We go down here. So you put your bags here, and you have two choices. You can sleep here, in this room – I take mattress and I drag it here and you can sleep. Or, there is also suite. It is mess too, but you come up, so up the stairs. This was very nice suite but I change it. Oh, John was very angry when I start renovations and he came home and saw what I did to this, but later I will fix – make into very nice suite. Maybe in winter, when I cannot do other work, I will finish here. In summer, you must do painting and work outside while it is not raining. In winter, cannot do anything! I spend whole summer working, is so much work. Whole summer. I start work 8 o’clock and I keep working until 11 o’clock, sometimes I finish at midnight.

So here is the other room. You see that sofa it is fold-away, so you sleep there. Yes, is better, I think too. We just move the junk. So much mess here. We have so many things, I must give some away but I have no time to go through, maybe when it is winter. I will take these outside, into other room. And yes. How long you stay? You stay as long as you like here, it is no problem. No that, it should stay put. No, we move here… and. So you go to Victoria next? Very beautiful place, very beautiful. OK. Good. So you see what two women can do when they set their mind to something? Good, yes, so you bring your bags here and this you sleep. You want sleep now? From flying, you are tired? No, ok, so I will make some lunch. No, no, you don’t have to go to shops. No. Don’t be silly. I make you food. Come come, we go down to the kitchen.

Bites? From bug? You show me, just show your back. Oh, those are very bad, your bites! Is bedbugs? Oh, bedbugs. Oh, bedbugs are very bad. Very bad. Once you have, is impossible to get rid. What did you do with clothes? We will have to wash all of your clothes. Yes – all clothes. It takes just one – just one bedbug and they breed. They are very bad when they breed. Once you get, never get rid of bedbugs. I am very scared of this, very scared. You get from hostel? Where did you stay? No, main street hostels, it is very bad down there. Cheap, yes cheap, but look at what happens. We will wash all of your clothes, and then I have tenant, he is pest controller, he will spray your bags. You should take outside. Go, you take your bags out out side, out here. Ok, now we go to the kitchen.

Bedbugs, bedbugs. They are very bad, huh. Very bad. Such a welcome to Canada! I appreciate it that you tell us though. Then we can do something. Ah, dishes everywhere. So dirty. Ok, so I make you sandwich. You would like sandwich. And for Donald too. There is Turkey. Most people, it is summer, too hot for turkey. But we have turkey. So, here, you try this. Is onion in balsamic. Good, yes? Yes, it is very good. So, I will get bread and turkey. Ah, where is plumber!

So, your father, he calls me. It’s very early, I think 7 or 6 in the morning. I liked your father very much, very much. Your parents, they threw very crazy parties. We dress up and we have food… Very crazy, your father. One party, we have to bring food and a same drink to go with it, and then everyone has different drink with the food. So I made traditional Polish food and I bring Polish vodka, you know. Someone they make Irish food and everyone they must have beer. So by the end you have so many different drink! You should not have so many different drinks like this! Afterwards – I didn’t speak too much Egnlish then – afterwards, I curl up in the hallway and wait for finish. Ok, here is sandwich for Don, I will take out.

So, Don, he knows about bedbugs. Very bad, bedbugs. Very bad. He was in a tent in bushes, before he come to work for me, he lives there, and here he has bedbugs he said. He was homelss, so he knows very much about these things. Very hard to get rid of them. So, your clothes. We must wash all of your clothes. No no, all of your clothes. Because it takes just one. Just one bedbug and then they breed very fast. I am so afraid of this, these bedbugs. Just we wait for the plumber, and then we go and speak to my tenent, and he will spray your bag. Ok, so here is your sandwich. You want cranberry? Ok. Don was a drug addict, but he goes clean and he comes and works for me then. Much better for him now, yes.

So the weather, it is nice tomorrow but then it will go bad after. Oh look, is winter already! Maybe now I  can do the work inside. Maybe the house will be clean, is so messy. You must not tell you father how messy the house! We have people they come for dinner, but we have not for so long with such a mess. Maybe is better you go tomorrow to Victoria. You should have nice weather for the ferry. To see the view. But you come back to Vancouver and front suite I will clean out and you stay there. When do you come back? Ok, so you will stay here with us. You come back to Vancouver and you live with us.

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